Friday, June 18, 2021
banner

Study in Qatar finds Pfizer vaccine highly effective in reining in UK, South African variants

  • May 06, 2021
  • Author: QT02
  • Number of views: 4091
  • Top News
-Vaccine 89.5% effective in preventing infection with UK variant two weeks after second shot
-Vaccine 75% effective in preventing infection with South Africa variant 14 days after second shot
-Even if infected, vaccine 97.4% effective against severe, critical, or fatal disease caused by the variants


Tribune News Network
Doha
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is effective against severe diseases caused by the dangerous UK and South Africa variants of coronavirus, a study based on real-world use of the vaccines in Qatar has found.
According to  the New England Journal of Medicine, which studied data from 200,000 people who got the jab in Qatar between February 1 and March 31, the vaccine was 89.5 percent effective at preventing infection with the UK variant (B.1.1.7) among people who were at least two weeks past their second shot.
It also found that the vaccine was 75 percent effective at preventing infection with the South Africa variant (B.1.351) in those who had reached the two-week point.
The effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing the variants from turning the infection into a severe, critical, or fatal disease is very high, at 97.4 percent, the study showed.
Viral genome sequencing conducted from February 23 through March 18 indicated that 50 percent of cases of COVID-19 in Qatar were caused by the South African variant and 44.5 percent by the UK variant. Nearly all cases in which virus was sequenced after March 7 were caused by either the South African or the UK variant, the study said.
Qatar launched a mass immunization campaign with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on December 21, 2020. As of March 31, 2021, a total of 385,853 persons had received at least one vaccine dose and 265,410 had completed the two doses. 
Vaccination scale-up occurred as Qatar was undergoing its second and third waves of coronavirus infection, which were triggered by expansion of the South African variant (starting in mid-January 2021) and the UK variant (starting in mid-February 2021). 
The UK wave peaked during the first week of March, and the rapid expansion of South African variant started in mid-March and continues to the present day.