Moderna’s vaccine has a significant advantage over Pfizer’s

News with a Twist

Coming into the bottom of the ninth, Moderna – 94.5, Pfizer – 90

Hello again everybody, this is Tony Fauci broadcasting from the TV booth high above the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Stadium. Of course, we’re waaaaay high above ’cause we sure don’t want to catch that darn virus!

If you’re just tuning in, we’ve got a doozy going on here in the Covid-19 Vaccine World Series. After being shut out for a full eight innings, the Cambridge Modernas, down 90 to 0 to the defending champs, the New York Pfizers, and literally coming out of nowhere, scored a record-breaking 94.5 in the top of the ninth to take the lead, 94.5 to 90.

While visibly shaken by this incredible Moderna come back, the Pfizers enter the bottom of the ninth confident and vowing to at least tie the score and send the game into extra innings. Or, depending on how well they can persuade their committee analyzing their vaccine’s efficacy, to add a few points (they need 5), go for broke in the bottom of the ninth and end it all, right here and now.

Wait, the entire Pfizer team is standing on the steps of their dugout singing. Let’s see if we can make out the song.

Wow, what a contest. But, before we return to the game, let’s see what my colleagues up here in the booth make of this incredible turn of events.

Mel Allen? “How’ bout that!” Phil Rizzuto? “Holy Cow!” Red Barber? “Oh, doctor!”

Thanks guys, for those incredibly insightful observations. And in this case, I guess the ol’ Redhead really means, Oh, doctor!”

Here’s Red: “Right you are, Tony. But don’t you have one more piece of news to pass on to the folks out there before we get back to this contest, a struggle that’s now ‘tighter than a new pair of shoes on a rainy day’ – a piece of news that the Pfizers might have a hard time overcoming; news that will certainly loosen up those shoes, Doc?”

Right you are Red. I almost forgot, what with Donald Trump yelling into my earpiece saying how much he hates the Pfizers. In fact, he just told me that the Pfizers’ score is fake; that it’s based on a lot research fraud. Wait, now he says we should stop counting the score and call the game for the Modernas! Right now! Hold on Red, let me talk to my producer. Deborah Birx – Deborah, if you can get that scarf out of your way, please turn off the Trump feed. Great thanks.

OK, Red and all you folks out there, Trump is gone…at least we hope he’s gone…and we’ll be going to the bottom of the ninth in a minute. But before we do, here’s the news the ol’ Redhead wanted me to to pass on:

While the two vaccines appear to have very similar safety and efficacy profiles, Moderna’s vaccine has a significant practical advantage over Pfizer’s.

“Pfizer’s vaccine has to be kept at minus 75 degrees Celsius — or about minus 103 degrees Fahrenheit. No other vaccine in the US needs to be kept that cold, and doctors’ offices and pharmacies do not have freezers that go that low.

“Moderna’s vaccine can be kept at minus 20 degrees Celsius, which is about minus 68 agrees Fahrenheit.

Another advantage of Moderna’s vaccine is that it can be kept for 30 days in the refrigerator, the company announced Monday. Pfizer’s vaccine can last only five days in the refrigerator.

Well, Red, Mel and Phil, based on that, it might just be that “anything the Modernas can do, the Pfizers just can’t do better.”

What’s that, Red. You said what? You want me to say what? OK, OK. Here goes.

In the interests of full disclosure, Moderna’s vaccine was co-developed with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases…that’s right, my own team. And, Moderna has no approved products and zero revenue stream from sales. Oh, and neither of these vaccines have been peer reviewed.

But enough of that scientific stuff. Back to the game.

The Pfizers have the heart of the order coming. First up is CEO, Albert “Boom-Boom” Bourla, DVM*. Waiting on deck, Global President – Vaccines, “No-No” Nanette Cocero. Following “No-No” and batting third, Lidia “The Fonz” Fonseca, Chief Digital and Technology Office. And, if anyone gets on base, batting fourth will be Chief Development Officer, Rod “Big Mac” MacKenzie…or is it Rod “Hot Rod” Mackenzie. Phil, which one is it? What’s that, Phil? Did you say, “Why does Mackenzie have two nicknames and you have only one?” Holy cow, Scooter, I’m just not sure. But, when we get a break, I’ll ask our director, Jared. He thinks he knows everything.

*(Yes, Dr. Bourla is a vet. Not to be too picky here, but would you take a vaccine from your vet? Just saying.)

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

8 thoughts on “Moderna’s vaccine has a significant advantage over Pfizer’s

    1. How ’bout that? Sorry, I was thinking about him…and Vin Scully as well. Unfortunately, the most memorable thing Russ ever said was, “THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!” And that just didn’t work. But, there’s always another column.

      Thanks for the feedback and support. I really appreciate it.


      1. For a serious moment…I assume you know that with cells of this magnitude (# affected) there is no statistical difference between 90 and 95.5…also, sorry but pharmacies and Dr.’s offices do not have -20 freezers either…both kinds of freezers are available in hospitals and could be put on vans with a small generator for power and be a travelling immunization center…


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