January 29, 2022

Pfizer vaccine protects 70% of severe cases of Omicron, South African study finds

The study was developed by the country’s first private health insurance company, Discovery, with scientists from the South African Medical Research Council.

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The vaccine from the American laboratory Pfizer is generally less effective against the Omicron variant, but “The double dose of the Pfizer vaccine shows a 70% effectiveness in reducing hospitalizations”. These results come from a study published Tuesday, December 14, conducted in South Africa, the country where the new variant was detected in November.

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This study was developed by the country’s first private health insurance company, Discovery, with scientists from the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). It is based on the results of 78,000 PCR tests obtained between November 15 and December 7. The president of SAMRC, a public medical research organization, Glenda Gray, judged these results “extremely encouraging”, recalling that “the vaccine is designed to protect against hospitalizations and death”.

The study shows a 33% efficacy against the risk of contamination by Omicron, with a high number of re-infections, against 80% against the previous dominant variant Delta. Corn “the severity of the cases is 25% lower than those of the first wave” pandemic last year, said Dr. Cheryl Cohen of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), who participated in the study.

“Despite less severe cases, health systems could be overwhelmed by the volume of contaminations, given the rapid spread of Omicron”, however warned Discovery President Ryan Noach.