Pfizer vaccine less effective against South African variety, Israeli study finds

An Israeli study has shown that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is less effective against the so-called South African virus.

The study by scientists from the Negev’s Ben-Gurion University said the vaccine produces high levels of antibodies that effectively fight both the sexually transmitted virus and the British variant. .

The vaccine did, however, only moderately alter South African change. It was also less effective against lines that had the influence of both British and South African changes.

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The researchers collected blood samples from 10 people who received COVID-19, five who received the first dose of the vaccine, and 10 who also received a second dose. Samples were taken from participants 21 days after the first dose, or 10 days after the second.

They would then measure the ability of the antibodies to protect against infection.

“Our study confirms the clinical efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine, but raises concerns about its efficacy against specific circulating changes of SARS-CoV-2,” the authors wrote. “Overall, the these results call for careful attention of variable distribution, and a [possibility] for new vaccines with improved neutral strength against SARS-CoV-2 modifications. ”

SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 infection.

“Our findings show that the vaccine is less effective against South African snoring, but its effectiveness remains,” said lead researcher Ran Taube.

The study said that antibodies of people who have been vaccinated are more susceptible to the virus, including its variants, than the antibodies of people who have been infected with the virus.

Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, 20 December 2020. (Photo AP / Ariel Schalit)

The spread of the variables was likely due to their higher infection rates, and not against vaccines, they said.

The researchers found a one-fold increase in antibody levels for people who had completed vaccine treatment compared to people who had survived the virus, and significantly higher levels than for people who had only received a vaccine. ‘first dose of vaccine, suggesting that full treatment is necessary for its high level of protection.

People who contracted the virus were also less protected against the South African species than the British counterpart.

The authors stated that people infected with the South African variant were unlikely to react with the same variant.

The study used pseudoviruses, or safe virus particles in a non-reproductive laboratory, indicating a possible limitation of the results. The use of pseudoviruses for the evaluation of antibodies has been established previously and earlier studies of the SARS-CoV-2 virus confirmed the use of pseudoviruses in research, the authors noted.

The study was published Saturday in the revised scientific journal Cell Host & Microbe. The researchers are from the Department of Microbiology and Psychology of Shrag Segal at Ben Gurion University.

The Israeli vaccination campaign, which has received the majority of eligible adults, relies heavily on the Pfizer vaccine.

The introduction of anti-vaccine changes has been a major concern for Israeli officials and has led the government to suspend international travel strictly for most of the pandemic, including closure. Ben Gurion Airport for months, even for most Israeli citizens.

Most diseases in Israel are caused by the British strain of the virus.

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