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Covid-19 Vaccine Less Effective Against Hospitalization

According to a significant real-world trial, two doses of Pfizer-COVID-19 BioNTech’s Vaccine appear to have delivered 70% protection against hospitalisation in South Africa in recent weeks, implying poorer efficacy against the novel Omicron strain. Discovery Health, South Africa’s largest private health insurance administrator, issued a research on Tuesday based on almost 211,000 positive COVID-19 test results. Omicron was responsible for almost 78,000 of those results between November 15 and December 7. As the 78,000 results aren’t proven Omicron cases, the study can’t provide clear data regarding the variation, which the World Health Organization has classified as “of concern” and has been documented in more than 60 nations.

So far, roughly 550 positive tests have been confirmed as Omicron, with the variant accounting for 78 percent of sequences from November, significantly higher than the previously dominating Delta variant. Late last month, South Africa notified the rest of the globe about Omicron, raising fears that it could spark a new wave of worldwide infections and prompting the introduction of travel restrictions in the region. In recent days, daily infections in South Africa have soared to over 20,000. Outside of lab research, which have indicated lower neutralising action against the variation, the data from a real-world analysis are some of the first on protection against Omicron.

The study calculated that two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech offered 70% protection against hospitalisation and 33% protection against infection compared to the unvaccinated during the recent surge in cases, based on analysis by Discovery’s clinical research and actuarial teams in collaboration with the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). This is down from 80 percent protection against infection and compares to 93 percent efficacy against hospital admission during the South African outbreak of the Delta variant, which is the globally dominant variant and considered the most infectious to emerge during the pandemic, according to the report.

The fact that the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine looked to offer good protection against severe sickness and c, according to SAMRC president Glenda Gray, was encouraging. In its COVID-19 immunisation programme, South Africa is using Vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson, with more than 20 million Pfizer doses administered thus far. According to Gray, J&J and the SAMRC are conducting a big real-world study of J&J’s Vaccine, and recent research has revealed no Omicron-related deaths. High projected levels of antibodies in the population may be skewing the data, given that 70% or more of the South African population has been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 18 months.

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