A “gold mine” of data released by Public Health England on Tuesday provides insight into who may need COVID-19 booster vaccines, The Financial Times‘John Burn-Murdoch reports.
Breaking down the numbers in a series of charts, Burn-Murdoch explains that the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines, which are the predominant vaccines in the UK, have generally held up well to the symptomatic coronavirus. infections, hospitalizations, and deaths even when the Delta variant took over. There are indications of decreased immunity over time, although the decreases are greatest in older people and especially older people with underlying health conditions.
This left Burn-Murdoch with two main takeaways. The study simultaneously suggests that “not everyone needs a booster” and that an extra dose “could make a big difference” for people with co-morbidities.
This idea seems to contrast with what is happening in Israel, where the country is encouraging everyone, regardless of additional factors, to receive a third dose (and they are even bracing for the possibility of a fourth) of the Pfizer vaccine due to more drastic signs. decreasing immunity. But Burn-Murdoch argues that the new data support the theory that a longer interval between doses deployed by the UK paves the way for better long-term protection than the shorter break taken by Israel and the US.
The good news is that Israel’s recall campaign is working well, so it’s worth keeping an eye on what this says about maximizing vaccine effectiveness in the future.
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