The South Africa form of the covid virus affects vaccinated people more so than unvaccinated people, according to new research from Tel Aviv University.
The study, released this weekend, which still needs peer review, studied 400 people who were positive for covid despite getting one dose or more of the Pfizer vaccine then compared the likelihood of having the South African form, with another group of unvaccinated people.
“We discovered a much greater rate of the South African form in vaccinated people who were given second doses, compared to unvaccinated people,” said Adi Stern from Israel’s Tel Aviv University. “It seems to mean that this variant is getting through the vaccine.”
Not only could this variant “get through” the protections from the Pfizer vaccine, but also directly affects those who have got the vaccine (around eight times greater) than those who did not get the vaccine.
Stern said the finding was a surprise, given larger patterns.
“Based on the patterns in the population, we predicted seeing only one case of the South African variant, but instead we found eight,” Stern told reporters.
The South Africa variant is normally very rare, making up just 1% of all covid cases.
“Even if this South African form does get through the vaccine, it is not widely seen in the public,” Stern said.
The research has not been peer-reviewed, but professor Ran Balicer said the finding is very important as it is “the first based on real-world data.”
Tel Aviv University reported that the study centered on the Pfizer vaccine because 53% of the country’s 9.3 million people have received that vaccine.
Author: Steven Sinclaire