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Monday, June 14, 2021

Pfizer effective against new variants, Qatar real world data shows

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Studies based on real-world uses of the Covid-19 vaccine in Qatar has shown that the injection can prevent the worst outcomes, including death.

According to studies, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has shown great effectiveness at protecting against severe symptoms caused by two dangerous variants.

The studies, one of which is based on the real-world use of the vaccine in Qatar, suggest that the shot can prevent severe symptoms, including severe pneumonia and death  caused by the deadlier UK and South African mutant strains of the virus. 

The Qatar study was based on information on more than 200,000 people pulled from the national Covid-19 databases between Feb. 1 and March 31, during which the variants spread in the Gulf state.

Sequencing conducted between Feb. 23 and March 18 suggested that almost half of the infections in that period were caused by the South African variant while 44.5 percent were caused by the UK variant. 

In multiple analyses, Qatar based researchers found that the vaccine was 87 to 89.5% effective at preventing infection from the UK variant among people who were at least two weeks past their second dose

It was 72.1 to 75 percent effective at preventing infection with the South African mutation among those who had similarly passed two weeks since the second dose. 

“We’re talking about a variant which is probably the nastiest of all the variants of concern. It’s not the 95 percent we were hoping, but the 75 percent is really great,” said infectious disease epidemiologist at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar Laith Abu-Raddad, one of the study’s authors.

Overall, the vaccine was 97.4% effective at preventing sever symptoms caused by the novel coronavirus. 

Read also: Qatar surpasses 30,000 daily Covid-19 jabs for first time

Results showed this was also 100 percent effective at preventing severe, critical or fatal disease caused by both the UK and the South African strains in particular.

According to Abu-Raddad, the slight difference in effectiveness is likely a result of the fact that the sample sizes were smaller for the subgroups of patients with a documented variant.

Two doses of the vaccine provided significantly more protection than only one dose, the study revealed.

So far in Qatar, there have been no Covid-19 related deaths among fully vaccinated people.

Those who have received both doses of the vaccine are 61 times less likely to require hospitalisation if infected by the virus, and 91 times less likely to require intensive care.

On Tuesday, health authorities in Qatar reported 645 new positive cases of Covid-19, bumping the total number up to 11,482.

The current death toll stands at 489.


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