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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Overall healthy adults with the Moderna COVID vaccine had 93% vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization over five months compared to those with 88% protection with Pfizer and 71% from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a new report out Friday from the CDC shows.

Why it matters: The report comes as the Food and Drug Administrations meets Friday to consider whether to endorse a contentious plan for booster shots among the fully vaccinated.

  • The higher effectiveness of Moderna could be due to the higher mRNA content or the difference between the timing between doses, the authors note.
  • Still, all three vaccines provided “substantial protection," the CDC says, despite both mRNA vaccines providing "more protection” than the J&J shot.

The big picture: The real-world data coincides with previous findings of how Moderna may maintain higher effectiveness over time than the other shots available in the United States.

  • The waning effectiveness in Pfizer may raise future questions about whether the two mRNA vaccines should be treated the same way policy-wise, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.

By the numbers: The sample size was from nearly 3,700 people at 21 hospitals in 18 states from March 11 to Aug. 15. Patients with immunocompromising conditions were excluded from the report.

  • About 13% were fully vaccinated with Moderna, 20% were fully vaccinated with Pfizer and 3.1% had J&J. 
  • Vaccine effectiveness for those 14-120 days after the second dose of Moderna was 93% and dropped to 92% after about four months, the data show.

What they're saying: "Understanding differences in [vaccine effectiveness] by vaccine product can guide individual choices and policy recommendations regarding vaccine boosters," the study's authors wrote.

  • "All FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines provide substantial protection against COVID-19 hospitalization," they added.

Go deeper

Oct 18, 2021 - Health

Over 30 states have limited officials' public health powers

Photo: Ringo Chiu/AFP via Getty Images

Republican lawmakers in more than 30 U.S. states have weakened health officials' authority to implement policies to protect the public against the coronavirus, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, lawmakers in all 50 states have introduced bills to curb state and local officials' public health authority.

Oct 18, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Minnesota offers cash and chance at $100K scholarship as vaccine incentive for teens

Expand chart
Data: Minnesota COVID-19 Response; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Minnesota is offering new incentives to shot-wary teens in an effort to boost the state's COVID-19 vaccination rates.

Driving the news: 12 to 17 year olds who get both doses over the next six weeks will receive a $200 Visa gift card, Gov. Tim Walz's administration announced Monday.

  • Kids vaccinated during this period can also enter a lottery for one of five $100,000 scholarships to attend any of the state's public or private colleges or universities.

Why it matters: Public health officials say increasing vaccination rates among young Minnesotans is key to curbing spread of the virus, especially in schools.

Updated 36 mins ago - World

Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate panel will recommend President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with "crimes against humanity," alleging his COVID-19 pandemic response led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, per the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The latest: The lawmakers initially said Bolsonaro should be charged with mass homicide and genocide, but lawmakers updated the report to replace these with the new charge, its lead author, Sen. Renan Calheiros, told the NYT.