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Pfizer vaccine’s efficiency fades faster than AstraZeneca- UK Study

According to a study, the efficacy of Pfizer-BioNTech’s covid-19 vaccine fades away faster than its competitor, AstraZeneca’s despite the former having better initial efficiency against the virus.  

The study that was published by Thursday was concluded after receiving the results of a survey conducted by Britain’s Office for National Statistics. The department held several PCR tests from December 2020 till August 2021 on randomly chosen families to ascertain the strength of each vaccine.  

Researchers of Oxford University who did the study said, “Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech have greater initial effectiveness against new COVID-19 infections, but this declines faster compared with two doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca.” 

The level of immunity offered by each vaccine on full inoculation differ greatly, the Nuffield Department of Medicine of Oxford University said as Pfizer and AstraZeneca are significantly different in “the dynamics of immunity following second doses”.  

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Though it has been found that the Pfizer vaccine offered “greater initial effectiveness”, its disadvantage was the vaccine’s “faster decline” in protecting “against viral burden and symptomatic infection” leads to covid-19. This is being seen after several months post-administration of second doses. However, the efficiency of both vaccines remained low after this duration.  

Highlighting the need to study the long-term effects of the jabs, the scientists said, “Results suggest that after four to five months effectiveness of these two vaccines would be similar.” 

This comes amid some countries planning to begin booster doses for their population to provide better protection to the citizens. Israel has already taken this route. After administering both doses of the Pfizer vaccine to 58 per cent of the people, it is now giving booster shots to them all.  

The United States seems to be the next in line as it is ready to start inoculating its population with booster doses in a bid to enhance the antibody levels in the body after studies showed the reducing efficiency of Pfizer and Moderna covid-19 vaccines.  

Meanwhile, those who recovered from the infection had a better rate of protection against the virus after getting both jabs compared to others, the Oxford research found.  

This study was conducted with the participation of more than 300,000 people, all above 18 years of age. They were divided into 2 groups; the first was examined during the time when the Alpha variant dominated the region of Kent in southeast England while the second was during the Delta variant’s reign starting May 2021. 

The Delta variant, which was first reported in India, held a strong grip as both vaccines were proven to be less effective against it.  

Currently, in the United Kingdom, AstraZeneca is the most administered vaccine. Following reports of blood clotting, people below 40 years of age are being given Pfizer or Moderna.