South African coronavirus strain resistant to Pfizer vaccine in Israel

South African coronavirus strain resistant to Pfizer vaccine in Israel

A variant of the coronavirus found in the Republic of South Africa (South Africa) may to some extent “breakthrough” through the COVID-19 vaccine co-produced by the American Pfizer and the German BioNTech. This is evidenced by a study by Israeli scientists, reports Reuters.

Experts from Tel Aviv University compared 400 people who tested positive for COVID-19 vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine to a similar number of unvaccinated patients with the disease. According to the study, South African type B.1.351 coronavirus accounts for about one percent of all cases among the people studied.

However, among patients who received two doses of the vaccine, the prevalence rate of the South African type of coronavirus was eight times higher than that of the unvaccinated – 5.4 percent versus 0.7 percent. This suggests that the vaccine is less effective against the South African variant of the virus, the researchers noted.

“We found a disproportionately high prevalence of the South African variant among people vaccinated with the second dose compared to the unvaccinated group. This means that this strain is capable of breaking through the vaccine’s defense to some extent, ”said Adi Stern of Tel Aviv University.

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Experts warned that the study has not yet been peer-reviewed, in addition, it involved a small sample of people infected with the South African variant, due to its rarity in Israel. It is also noted that the purpose of the study was not to find out the overall effectiveness of the US-German vaccine.