Delta variant shows some resistance to Pfizer vaccine
The Pfizer vaccine is less effective against the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19, revealed an Israeli study on Tuesday.
Preliminary data collected over the past month by Israel’s health ministry suggests the vaccine is 64% effective at preventing infection among those who are fully inoculated, the ministry has found. This is significantly less than the 94% protection afforded against other strains.
The study was based on “preliminary” figures relating to the effectiveness of the vaccine gathered continuously by health authorities, Professor Nadav Davidovitch reportedly cautioned, according to Reuters.
“Delta is a lot more infectious, but appears to not lead to as much serious illness and death, especially given that we now have the vaccine,” he said.
UK health authorities had already reported a drop in efficacy - albeit more moderate - for the Pfizer jab against the Delta variant. In May, Public Health England had found that the vaccine was 88% effective in protecting against symptomatic infection with the Delta variant.
For its part, on 29 June, Moderna, which manufacturers the main rival to Pfizer's mRNA jab, said blood serum from eight fully inoculated individuals had revealed a 2.1-fold reduction in their bodies' ability to generate neutralising antibodies against the Delta variant.
That, some commentators said, should have little to no effect on people's ability to fight off infection from the Delta variant.
Lab tests with antibodies produced from the Pfizer vaccine had shown a 9.6-fold decrease in efficacy in fighting the Delta variant.
On home shores, despite a rise in the number of cases in the UK due to the new variant, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was still planning to lift all restrictions on July 19.