A recent study suggests messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccines, including Pfizer and Moderna, are only 66 percent effective against the Delta variant.
Previous reports from the pharmaceutical companies reported a 91 to 93 percent efficiency rate across six to eight months. This was also seen in the aforementioned study, which tracked the rate of infections among the vaccinated and unvaccinated. By August, vaccine efficiency dropped to 66 percent amid a spike in delta variant cases.
Despite the decline, the researchers maintained the importance of vaccination, saying, “Although these interim findings suggest a moderate reduction in the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing infection, the sustained two-thirds reduction in infection risk underscores the continued importance and benefits of COVID-19 vaccination.”
At the beginning of August, Pfizer and Moderna released positive COVID-19 vaccine reports. If the company’s data is in tune with outside analysis, the upcoming reports should reflect a decline in efficiency due to the delta variant.
Other studies suggest similar declines in vaccine efficiency and increased infections among the vaccinated in wake of the delta variant. For instance, Israeli officials warned the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is less effective against the Delta variant. Ran Balicer, chairman of Israel’s national expert panel on COVID-19, said it was “too early to precisely assess vaccine effectiveness.”
Since February, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that the COVID-19 vaccine may be less effective against new strains, even suggesting potential alterations to the product. With the recent development of a third booster shot, his predictions were correct.
Pfizer suggests a third dose within 12 months may increase immunity and protect against the newest variants. Dr. Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, said early studies show antibody levels jump five to tenfold after a third dose.
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: LIVE SCIENCE
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