COVID-19: Why the Moderna Vaccine Will Be Better

Likely we won't get a choice, but if we could — give me Moderna's.

Another week, another vaccine announcement. This time it is Moderna saying they have a vaccine that is 95 percent effective. Details are in this Washington Post article (which you might be able to read), "Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine found to be nearly 95 percent effective in a preliminary analysis."

There is the normal hyping of effectiveness during the trials and how many people became ill in the placebo group that did not actually get a vaccine. What I'm focused on is at the end of the article: "The Pfizer vaccine requires ultracold storage conditions — minus 70 degrees Celsius — not widely available in typical vaccination settings. The company has been working to overcome that limitation.

"Moderna announced Monday that its vaccine can be stable at refrigerator temperatures for a month and frozen for up to six months. It will not require dilution at the point of care, unlike the Pfizer vaccine."

Given the choice, I would choose Moderna because of this last fact. Having to have the vaccine stored at super cold temperatures creates risks for that "chain of cold" to be broken somewhere along the line. And, what is alluded to is that there is no need to "mix or dilute the vaccine" at the point of care/injection. This latter point is another step along the timeline of production to injection where a mistake can be made in prepping the vaccine for injection. In the military patrol lingo it is a "danger point" along the way.

However, we as average citizens won't be getting the Burger King solution ("have it your way") to vaccine injection. We'll show up and we'll get whatever they are shooting people up with that day. Either way — I'm getting a vaccination!

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.