Released on Wednesday, the two studies that focused on the use of the vaccine in Israel and Qatar found that the Pfizer injection offered almost total protection against the worst possible outcomes of contracting the virus, either B.1.1. 7. variant first found in UK and B.1.351 variant which was discovered in South Africa.
Researchers previously found that the B.1.1.7 variant was up to 65% more transmissible than the original and dominant version of COVID-19, while the B.1.351 version carried mutations that allowed the variant to be more resistant to vaccines.
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The Qatar-based study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, used data from the country’s national COVID-19 database, which includes more than 265,000 people who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine as of March 31.
By mid-March, around 50% of COVID-19 cases in Qatar were caused by variant B.1.351 and 44.5% identified as B.1.1.7. variant, depending on the study.
Overall, the researchers found that the Pfizer vaccine was 97.4% effective in preventing “serious, critical, or fatal illness” from any form of COVID-19, and was 100% effective in preventing same category against UK and South. African variants.
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In terms of protection against infection, injection of Pfizer had an 87-89.5% effect in preventing B.1.1.7 infections. for those who were two weeks after their second jab. The vaccine, however, was less effective at preventing infection against the B.1.351 variant, offering up to 75 percent protection two weeks after the second vaccine.
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The other study, which was published in The Lancet and conducted by the Israeli Ministry of Health, found, based on data analyzing Israel’s deployment of the Pfizer vaccine, that it offered 95% protection against the vaccine. COVID-19 infection seven days after the second stroke.
Until early April, the analysis used data from more than 5 million people – more than 70 percent of the population – who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
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The researchers found that two doses offered more than 95% protection against infection with the British variant and more than 96% protection against death one week after receiving the second dose. After 14 days, these two figures increased to 96.5% and 98%, respectively
It should be noted, however, that during the study period, over 232,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were found – 95% of which were tested as simply B.1.1.7. variant.
The researchers said the efficacy of the vaccine against the South African variant could not be estimated in their study “due to the small number of B.1.351 infections identified in Israel during the study period.”
Research, however, found that protection was significantly lower if recipients received a single dose of Pfizer vaccine instead of two.
Protection against infection was 57.7% between seven and 14 days after the first dose, while protection against death was 77% during the same period.
“Importantly, the study shows that two doses of the vaccine dramatically increase levels of immunity and protection. That’s why it’s important that people get both doses, ”said Dr Jonathan Ball, professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham via the Science Media Center in London.
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