Discovery Analysis Shows Pfizer Jabs Calibre in Fifth Wave
The Covid-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech has successfully assisted in preventing hospitalisations during South Africa’s fifth wave of coronavirus infections. The vaccine was able to boost immunity against Omicron’s sub-lineages, namely BA.4 and BA.
A study that took place between 1 April and mid-May was conducted by Discovery where they collected data from 1.58 million Gauteng-based individuals making use of various medications. It is to be noted that this study took place during the fifth wave of Covid-19 in South Africa.
Discovery Health, which is an alliance of the JSE-listed Discovery, has accessed claims data from the 3.3 million beneficiaries consisting of its 19 client medical schemes. The results of these claims are important because previous medical studies discovered that the antibodies produced by the Pfizer vaccine have a reduced ability to neutralise the Omicron variant, compared to older variants such as the Delta variant.
People who received a double dose of the Pfizer vaccine had an 87% lower risk of hospitalisation after being infected with the virus, compared to unvaccinated individuals. Vaccine protection against hospitalisation decreased to 84% after three to four months of being vaccinated and ultimately dropped even further to only 63% after five to six months of being vaccinated.
Additionally, this study investigated the impact of Pfizer booster shots. It found that the vaccine immunity against hospitalisation increased to 88% after three to four months of receiving the third dose. Discovery’s data shows a continued division of Covid cases and hospital admissions during the fifth wave. A total of 718 hospital admissions for severe Covid-19 patients were recorded during the entirety of the study.
Between November 15 and December 7, Discovery compared the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine to Johnson & Johnson’s, concluding that people who received two Pfizer doses were 70% less likely to be hospitalised one to two months after receiving their second shot. People who received two Johnson & Johnson doses were 72% less likely to be hospitalised.
Towards the end of December, South Africa began offering booster shots to adults. The government has now added a second booster shot which is available to people over the age of 50.
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