It has not been reviewed yet a study It came out on Saturday. The study compared nearly 400 people – one group tested positive for COVID-19 two or more weeks after being vaccinated with one or two doses of Pfizer. The second study group had the same number of unvaccinated people of the same age and sex distribution.
According to a study by Tel Aviv University and the largest Israeli healthcare provider Clalit, the South African variant B.1.351 was found to account for about 1 percent of all cases of covidem-19 in the people studied.
However, in patients vaccinated with two doses, the prevalence of the variant was eight times higher than in unvaccinated patients – 5.4% compared to 0.7%. This indicates that the vaccine is less effective against the South African variant than against the original coronavirus and the so-called British mutation, which accounts for nearly half of all cases in Israel.
“We found a disproportionately higher rate for the South African variant in people vaccinated with the second dose compared to the unvaccinated group. This means that the South African variant is somewhat capable of breaking the vaccine protection,” said Adi Stern of Tel Aviv University.
However, the researchers themselves indicate that the sample infected with the South African Coronavirus was small due to its rare occurrence in Israel. They also stated that the goal of the research was not to extract the overall effectiveness of the vaccine against any variable – the research focused only on people who had already tested positive for COVID-19, not the overall rate of infection.
It is also important to note that the study did not mention the course of vaccines affected by the South African mutation. A positive test does not mean that the vaccine is not working as well as it should. The vaccine is primarily intended to protect against a more severe course, and not necessarily from the infection itself.
Pfizer and BioNTech have yet to comment on the test results. However, on April 1, referring to the data of the current study, they reported that their vaccine was approximately 91 percent effective in preventing covidem-19. Regarding the South African variant, they report that in a group of 800 volunteers to study in South Africa, where the mutation is spreading, nine cases became infected – all receiving placebo. Of these nine cases, six have contracted the mutation in South Africa. The effectiveness of the Pfizer dose against this mutation has been demonstrated in previous studies, but the protection provided by the vaccine remains high.
While the study results may be cause for concern, Stern says the low prevalence of the South African tribe is encouraging. “Although the South African alternative broke the protection of the vaccine, it did not spread among the population,” he said, adding that the spread of the South African strain might “hinder” the British type.
Nearly 53 percent of Israel’s population of 9.3 million have received two doses of Pfizer. Israel has largely relaunched its economy in recent weeks, and the epidemic appears to be slowing down. The infection rate, severe cases and the number of hospitalizations have decreased sharply. About a third of Israelis are under the age of 16, which means they still do not qualify for the vaccine.