South African variant of covid may ‘break through’ Pfizer vaccine, study says

South African variant of covid may ‘get through’ Pfizer vaccine, study says. Photo: AP


The variant ofl coronavirus discovered in South Africa you can “go through” the vaccine to some degree of Pfizer / BioNTech against COVID-19, found a study in Israel, although its presence in the country is low and the research was not peer-reviewed.

The study, released Saturday, compared nearly 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, with the same number of patients with the disease and not vaccinated. He matched age and gender, among other characteristics.

The South African variant, B.1.351, accounted for 1% of all COVID-19 cases in the pool of people studied, according to research from Tel Aviv University and Clalit, Israel’s largest healthcare provider. .

But among patients who received two doses of the vaccine, the prevalence rate of the variant was eight times higher than among the unvaccinated – 5.4% versus 0.7%.

This suggests that the vaccine is less effective against the South African variant, compared to the parent coronavirus and a variant initially identified in Britain that accounted for nearly all COVID-19 cases in Israel, the researchers said.

We found a disproportionately higher rate of the South African variant among people vaccinated with a second dose, compared to the unvaccinated group. This means that the South African variant can, to some degree, pass through the protection of the vaccine, “said Adi Stern of Tel Aviv University.

However, the researchers cautioned that the study only included a small sample of people infected with the South African variant, because it is very rare in Israel.

They also said the research was not intended to infer the vaccine’s overall effectiveness against any variant, as it only considered people who had already tested positive for COVID-19, not overall infection rates.

Pfizer and BioNTech could not be immediately reached for comment outside of normal business hours.

On April 1, the companies said their vaccine was about 91% effective in preventing COVID-19, citing updated test data that included participants inoculated for up to six months.

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