¿Cuáles son las diferencias entre las vacunas de Pfizer y Moderna?

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Los reguladores farmacéuticos en EE.UU. autorizaron la semana pasada la vacuna contra la covid-19 de Pfizer y ahora están a punto de dar su visto bueno a la de Moderna. Ambas tienen una estructura similar, pero también algunas diferencias.

Conservación en frío

La principal diferencia entre las dos vacunas es su conservación en frío. Mientras la de Pfizer necesita temperaturas de entre -60 y -80 grados centígrados, lo que ha obligado a organizar un costoso y complejo sistema de distribución y almacenaje, la de Moderna tan solo requiere -20 grados, como un congelador doméstico.

Fuera de los supercongeladores que necesita la vacuna de Pfizer, el suero aguanta 5 días en una nevera, mientras que la de Moderna resiste hasta 30 días, lo que la hace mucho más manejable a nivel logístico, sobre todo para países en vías de desarrollo.

Dosis

Las dos vacunas requieren de dos dosis, pero las de Moderna son de 100 microgramos y deben administrarse con 28 días de diferencia, mientras que las de Pfizer son de 30 microgramos, a administrarse con un plazo de 21 días.

Eficacia

Ambas vacunas han presentado una eficacia cercana al 95 %, mucho más alta de lo esperado, pero la de Moderna ha demostrado capacidad para prevenir casos graves de la covid-19, según datos publicados por los reguladores estadounidenses.

Estructura

Las dos vacunas usan el ARN mensajero o ARNm, que se introduce en las células humanas para que el propio cuerpo produzca proteínas virales que le sirven para generar los anticuerpos que necesita para defenderse.

No obstante, cada vacuna usa su propio tipo de cobertura lipídica para proteger el ARN mensajero.

Edad

La Agencia de Alimentos y Medicamentos (FDA, en inglés), el ente regulador de EE.UU., ha autorizado la vacuna de Pfizer para mayores de 16 años; la de Moderna, sin embargo, está preparada para mayores de 18.

Empresa

Mientras Pfizer es una de las grandes empresas farmacéuticas con 170 años de historia, Moderna es una biotecnológica de apenas una década desde su fundación y sin ningún producto en el mercado.

Moderna, hasta hace poco una empresa emergente, no había presentado nunca antes una vacuna ante la FDA.

Apoyo público

Moderna ha participado activamente de la Operación Warp Speed del Gobierno de Donald Trump y ha accedido a 2.500 millones de dólares de fondos federales para comprar nuevos materiales, ampliar sus instalaciones y aumentar su plantilla en un 50 %.

Pfizer, por contra, no ha formado parte de esa operación pública aunque sí firmó un contrato con el Gobierno para la compra de 100 millones de dosis.

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