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Israel study suggests Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is less effective against Delta variant

Data suggests vaccine is 64% effective at preventing infection caused by Delta variant after two doses

New preliminary data from Israel’s Health Ministry suggests that Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is less effective against the Delta variant.

Earlier this year, the Israeli Health Ministry found the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be 94% effective after two doses. New real-world data, collected over the last month, now suggests the jab is 64% effective at preventing infection after both doses, following the emergence of the Delta variant.

The newly reported figures still suggest, however, that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is 93% effective against severe COVID-19 and hospitalisation.

In Israel, COVID-19 cases have been steadily growing since all restrictions were lifted on 1 June, with the Delta variant thought to be causing a surge in infections. Approximately 57% of Israel’s general population are fully vaccinated, with 88% of individuals over the age of 50 years having had two doses.

Although the variant is thought to be more transmissible than the original COVID-19 strain, there is currently little evidence that it leads to more severe disease.

“Delta is a lot more infectious, but appears to not lead to as much serious illness and death, especially given that we now have the vaccine,” said Nadav Davidovitch, member of Israel’s expert advisory committee on COVID-19.

A study from Public Health England (PHE) also recently suggested that two doses of either Pfizer/BioNTech or AstraZeneca’s (AZ) COVID-19 vaccines are ‘highly’ effective against the Delta variant.

The study included 14,019 individuals in England who had tested positive for the Delta variant, of which 166 were hospitalised between 12 April and 4 June.

According to the data, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was 96% effective against hospitalisation or death caused by the Delta variant following two doses.

The AZ vaccine was 92% effective against hospitalisation or death from the Delta variant after two doses.

The data also showed that a single dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was 94% effective at preventing hospitalisation, while AZ’s jab was 71% effective after the first dose.

In addition, lab studies published last month found the antibodies produced by Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine neutralised all variants tested, including the Delta variant.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

6th July 2021

From: Research

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