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Israeli study reveals South African variant resistance to Pfizer vaccine

Jerusalem, Apr 11 (EFE) .- An Israeli study released today by local media showed that the South African variant of the coronavirus is more resistant than the British one against the Pfizer vaccine, although it did not specify the degree of resistance.

The research, which is not yet peer-reviewed and based on a sample of about 800 people, found that the percentage of cases of the South African strain compared to the British was significantly higher among people who had received both doses of the vaccine against those who had only been inoculated with one.

The study, carried out by researchers from the main Israeli health insurance company, Clalit, together with Tel Aviv University, identified that among infected patients 14 days after receiving the first dose of the vaccine, less than 0.5% had contracted the South African strain of coronavirus. This figure was almost identical when analyzing a control group, made up of the same number of patients, of similar ages and who had not received the vaccine.

The striking thing was that among the people who had been infected with coronavirus after two weeks of receiving the second dose of the vaccine, the percentage of patients carrying the South African strain was 5.4%, while in the control group of unvaccinated people the figure was 0.7%.

“This means that the South African variant has the ability, to some extent, to penetrate the protection of the vaccine,” said Adi Stern, a professor at the School of Biomedicine at Tel Aviv University and one of the study’s authors.

The researchers pointed out, however, that these results do not allow to specify the extent to which the South African variant is resistant to the vaccine and also emphasized that this strain represents only 1% of the cases in Israel, where the study was carried out.

“It is true that people who are vaccinated are less protected against the South African variant, but the small number of cases of this strain in the country shows that the vaccine does protect them,” explains Nadav Davidovitch, director of the School of Health. Ben Gurion University Public and Government advisor in the management of the pandemic.

According to him, while these results are significant and should be the basis for further studies, this study does not contradict Pfizer’s evidence for the vaccine’s effectiveness against this strain. EFE


(c) EFE Agency

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