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Pfizer or Moderna? A COVID vaccine distribution dilemma


Good afternoon, readers.

Say you stroll right into a hospital or different COVID vaccine distribution web site. You qualify to get one since you’re a precedence group underneath native laws, and there are sufficient obtainable doses round so that you can get one. Which one would you really obtain?

The Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) has already granted emergency authorization to 2 of them, one from Pfizer and its German accomplice BioNTech and the opposite from Moderna. However you’re unlikely to know which one of those you’ll be getting.

This pandemic has had a unifying theme: Triage. You get the assets to who wants them most. You allocate such assets accordingly. That was the case with coronavirus testing at the start of the outbreak. Now it’s the case for one of the complicated immunization campaigns in historical past.

Whereas the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines share scientific roots, they’re nonetheless very completely different merchandise with completely different logistical necessities akin to storage and dosing (although they’ve been proven to be equally efficient in medical trials). However location will almost certainly dictate precisely which shot you obtain.

Reside close to a significant, sprawling, subtle well being system? You would possibly get Pfizer’s vaccine, which has ultra-cold storage necessities {that a} smaller hospital might not have the instruments to handle. Reside in a rural space? Maybe Moderna’s vaccine, which doesn’t require these extra specialised capabilities.

Preserving monitor of all that is key since mixing up two completely different vaccines could possibly be harmful (a reality which has compelled well being techniques to work with digital well being report distributors to regulate who’s getting what).

All of it boils all the way down to flexibility, and extra vaccines will finally arrive to the market. However the disparate methods for COVID vaccine deployment may additionally breed some confusion.

On a associated word, the worldwide pandemic has uncovered deficiencies in well being techniques in all places and has highlighted the significance of advancing with extra patient-centric options.

What’s extra, the transformative spirit and velocity of change—from therapeutics to the current vaccine growth and deployment—have demonstrated that well being techniques will be extra environment friendly in assembly calls for at present and tomorrow. You can join Fortune for a special conversation on these topics and more, presented in partnership with Roche, on January 21 at 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET.

Learn on for the day’s information, and see you subsequent week.

Sy Mukherjee