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South African Variant May be Able to Breakthrough Pfizer Vaccine

A new study in Israel has found the Pfizer vaccine to be less effective against the South African variant strain of the Coronavirus. Compared to the other strains of the virus, the vaccine is less effective than the South African one. Data from Israel’s largest health provider was used for the study. The research studied 400 fully vaccinated people who had contracted the virus against 400 unvaccinated members of the infected population.

The South African variant, also known as B.1.351, was eight times more likely to cause the infection in the vaccinated group compared to the unvaccinated population. Adi Stern from Tel Aviv University told Reuters, “We found a disproportionately higher rate of the South African variant among people vaccinated with a second dose. This means that the South African variant is able, to some extent, to break through the vaccine’s protection.”

Researchers have cautioned that the study was a relatively small sample size and more research is needed. The work has not yet been fully peer-reviewed. The findings are revealed in a preprint of the study results. The concerns over the variants have been making vaccine makers tweak their original formulas to broaden the protections.

The Associated Press reports received by some of the Americans have already received a third shot, one aimed at variants. Major vaccine makers are changing their recipes in case of an update against the so-called B.1.351 virus is required. Moderna and Pfizer are testing their experimental doses on live patients. As viruses constantly evolve, the world is in a race to vaccinate millions of people against the coronavirus.

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