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COVID-19 vaccine protection wanes within six months: UK researchers


Protection against COVID-19 offered by two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines begins to fade within six months, underscoring the need for booster shots, according to researchers in Britain.

After five to six months, the effectiveness of the Pfizer jab at preventing COVID-19 infection in the month after the second dose fell from 88% to 74%, an analysis of data collected in Britain’s ZOE COVID study showed.

For the AstraZeneca vaccine, effectiveness fell from 77% to 67% after four to five months.

The study was based on data from more than a million app users, comparing self-reported infections in vaccinated participants with cases in an unvaccinated control group.

Pfizer BioNTech vaccine astrazeneca

More data is needed in younger people because participants who had their shots up to six months ago tended to be elderly as that age group was prioritised when the shots were first approved, the study authors said.

ZOE Ltd was founded three years ago to offer customised nutritional advice based on test kits. The company’s ZOE COVID Symptom Study app is a not-for-profit initiative in collaboration with King’s College London and funded by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Under a worst-case future scenario, protection could fall below 50% for older people and healthcare workers by the winter, Tim Spector, ZOE Ltd co-founder and principal investigator for the study, said.

“It’s bringing into focus this need for some action. We can’t just sit by and see the protectiveness slowly waning whilst cases are still high and the chance of infection still high as well,” Spector told BBC television.



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