COVID may be evolving faster than we can make vaccines. A recent study in Israel all but confirms that the Pfizer vaccine may be less effective against the South African variant of the virus.
Usually, you need two doses of a vaccine to be fully protected from the virus but the research says that the South African variant or the B.1.351 variant can even penetrate through the protection of two doses of the vaccine.
The study was done by a group of researchers from Tel Aviv University and Clalit, Israel’s biggest health care organization. According to Adi Stern, one of the researchers, “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 is able, to some extent, to break through the vaccine’s protection.”
They studied more than 400 people all of whom were tested positive for the virus. All of them had been positive again after receiving one or two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, at most two weeks before. By comparing their results to the same number of unvaccinated infected patients, they realized that the South African variant was eight times more prevalent than those unvaccinated.
The researchers theorized that this could mean that the variant is somewhat able to break through the protection of the Pfizer vaccine. Nothing concrete can be said as the sample size was small and is not enough to question the overall effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine.
Do not let this news stop you from getting vaccinated. The Pfizer vaccine has been found to be around 91 percent effect at preventing COVID 19 and any kind of protection is good protection. Pfizer announced recently that protection will last at least six months after the second dose of the vaccine.