People who received Moderna’s vaccine early are TWICE as likely to get a breakthrough infection


BREAKING NEWS: Moderna says people who received its Covid vaccine last year are nearly TWICE as likely to get a breakthrough infection compared to those who got the shot recently

  • New data from Moderna found 88 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 of those fully vaccinated between December 2020 and March 2021
  • Comparatively, there 162 breakthrough cases among those vaccinated between July 2020 and December 2020 during clinical trials
  • Moderna says these data suggest fully vaccinated people should receive booster shot six to eight months later
  • Early data showed a third dose increased neutralizing antibody levels increased by as much as 15-fold after one month


Moderna Inc says people who received its COVID-19 vaccine last year are nearly twice as likely to get a breakthrough infection compared to those recently vaccinated.   

Breakthrough cases occur when people contract the disease 14 days or more after receiving their final dose of the shot.

New data published on Wednesday found 88 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among Americans vaccinated from December 2020 to March 2021.

Comparatively, there were 162 cases – 1.8 times as many – among those vaccinated between July 2020 and December 2020.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company also reported 13 severe cases among the early vaccination group compared to six in the later group.

What’s more, there were three Covid hospitalizations and two deaths in the group vaccinated last year compared to no hospitalizations or deaths in the group vaccinated in winter 2020 and spring 2021.

Moderna says the data provide evidence for giving booster doses to fully vaccinated people. 

New data from Moderna found 88 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 of those fully vaccinated over summer 2021 compared to 162 cases among those vaccinated between December 2020 to March 2021. Pictured: A vial of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, April 7

The data looked at people who participated in Moderna’s Phase 3 COVE study from last year and those who received the vaccine after it received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Of 14,746 who received the vaccine between July 2020 and December 2020, there were 162 breakthrough Covid cases.

By comparison, there were 88 breakthrough cases among 11,431 who received the vaccine from December 2020 to March 2021.

Researchers say this means there is a 36 percent reduced protection from those who received their first dose 13 months ago compared to those given their initial shot eight months ago.  

For both groups, more cases were seen among younger adults.

In the 2020 vaccination group, there were 136 breakthrough cases for 18-to-65-year-olds and 26 cases were seen among the aged 65 and older group.

In the 2020-21 vaccination group, there were 68 breakthrough cases among the younger adult group and 20 cases among senior citizens. 

More severe cases of COVID-19 were seen in the early vaccination group with 13 cases compared to six cases in the later group.

Seven severe breakthrough cases were reported among 18-to-65-year-olds vaccinated last year compared to six among the aged 65 and older group.

Moderna says this represents a 46 percent reduction in protection against severe cases among those who received the vaccine about a year ago.

Among the group vaccinated more recently, four cases were among young adults and two were in older adults.

And while the group who received their shots last year saw had three breakthrough cases that resulted in hospitalizations and two resulting in death, none occurred among those who received shots this year.

‘The increased risk of breakthrough infections in…study participants who were vaccinated last year compared to more recently illustrates the impact of waning immunity and supports the need for a booster to maintain high levels of protection,’ said Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel in a press release.

‘We hope these findings are helpful as health authorities and regulators continue to assess strategies for ending this pandemic.’

Moderna also shared data from its clinical trial looking at people given booster shots six to eight months after their second dose

They found that neutralizing antibody levels increased by as much as 15-fold after one month.

Levels, even among older adults – who produce normally much weaker immune responses – were even higher than those recorded immediately after the second dose.  

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