No Matter How Old, Two Pfizer Vaccine Shots Don’t Last, Study Finds

People vaccinated with two injections of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine in January and February were 51% more likely to contract the virus in July compared to those who were vaccinated in March or April, a new published Israeli study showed. in Nature Communications.

The KI Institute team of researchers used data provided by Maccabi Health Services to conduct a retrospective cohort study comparing the incidence rates of breakthrough infections and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 among people vaccinated towards the beginning of the country’s campaign (January and February). and those vaccinated towards the last stages (March and April). The study included more than 1.3 million records.

As noted, the risk of infection was significantly higher for people the earlier they were vaccinated, with an additional trend of high risk of hospitalization. The results, the researchers said, are consistent with other studies on the subject that show a decline in levels of antibodies and immune system compounds after four to six months.

Also, people’s age had no effect on the vaccine decline, which means the vaccine decreased for everyone and not just the elderly.

“Everyone’s antibodies go down equally, according to the study,” said Dr. Barak Mizrahi, a computational health researcher at the KI Institute who led the study.

In this illustrative image taken on March 19, 2021, vials with Pfizer-BioNTech disease and Moderna coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are seen (credit: REUTERS / DADO RUVIC / ILLUSTRATION / FILE PHOTO)

Israel established a policy to administer the third vaccine to all people over the age of 12, in contrast to many other countries and the recommendation of the World Health Organization to give the third vaccine only to people at higher risk of contracting the virus. or develop serious illness.

More than four million Israelis have received a booster injection. The results were that the infection rate was significantly reduced.

Mizrahi explained that the vaccine decreased more the further it got away from the original second dose, which means that people vaccinated in January had a higher risk of contracting corona than people vaccinated in February, etc.

The study was conducted while the Delta variant was burning across the country and many believed that the variant could be the cause of the increase in infection in Israel. Mizrahi said the study shows that the variant was likely a smaller factor than previously assumed, although this is not yet confirmed.

Will the third dose last longer?

Mizrahi said it’s hard to tell at this stage. Very preliminary data has started to emerge showing that antibodies are also decreasing after the third injection. However, he said that the level of antibodies is not the only factor when it comes to immunity. Officials will need to watch and see if infections start to rise and then set vaccination policy accordingly, Mizrahi said.

“I don’t think it will take us that long to find out,” he concluded.

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