Protection from COVID-19 vaccines starts to wane within six months

pharmafile | August 25, 2021 | News story | Research and Development  

Researchers are starting to see that protection from the COVID-19 vaccines begins to wane within sixe months of receiving a second dose.

The real-world study includes data on positive Covid PCR test results between May and July 2021 among more than a million people who had received two doses of Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine.

Protection after two shots of Pfizer decreased from 88% at one month to 74% at five to six months.

For AstraZeneca, the fall was from 77% to 67% at four to five months.

A possible worse case scenario would see protection for the elderly and healthcare workers fall to 50% by winter.

Public Health England estimates that around 84,600 deaths and 23 million infections have been prevented as a result of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in England so far.

As reported in BBC, Prof Tim Spector, Lead Investigator on the Zoe Covid Study app behind the research, said: “Vaccines still provide high levels of protection for the majority of the population, especially against the Delta variant, so we still need as many people as possible to get fully vaccinated.”

Of potential third booster shots, Prof Spector said: “Many people may not need them. Many people may have had a natural booster because they’ve already had a natural Covid infection, so will effectively have had three vaccines.

“So I think the whole thing needs to be much more carefully managed than just giving it to everybody which would be a huge waste and ethically dubious given the resources we have. I think we need a more targeted approach than last time.”

Lilly Subbotin

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