April 2021: Stern's lab: South African COVID-19 variant is less sensitive to Pfizer vaccine

A new study found out that the Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is less effective against the coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa.

April 2021: Stern's lab: South African COVID-19 variant is less sensitive to Pfizer vaccine

A new study found out that the Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is less effective against the coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa.

 

The study was led by Edmond J. Safra PhD student fellows, Talia Kustin, Noam Harel, Sheri Harari, and by their advisor Prof. Adi Stern, Edmond J. Safra member (Life Sciences), in collaboration with researchers from Clalit, Israel’s largest HMO.

 

The study, which was not yet peer reviewed, compared almost 400 people who tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of matched unvaccinated patients with the disease. The South African variant, B.1.351, was found to make up about 1% of all the COVID-19 cases across all the people studied. But among patients who had received two doses of the vaccine, the variant’s prevalence was eight times higher than in those unvaccinated – 5.4% versus 0.7%. This suggests the vaccine is less effective against the South African variant, compared with the original coronavirus and a variant first identified in Britain that has come to comprise nearly all COVID-19 cases in Israel.

 

The new study gained broad international exposure, with more than 80 references in English, German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Greek and more. See some of the reports in online media:

YNET , Israel TV 12, ABC NEWS, NY POST, USA NEWS, JAPAN TIMES, FR24NEWS, MIAMIDIARIO, REUTERS , ALARABIA , TAGES SPIEGL

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