Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine is 90 percent Effective in Preventing Hospitalization for Up to 6 Months

A new study has revealed that the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech is 90 percent effective in keeping a person from being hospitalized for the virus for six months after receiving the second dose.

Researchers from Pfizer and the US-based healthcare consortium Kaiser Permanente looked at the medical records of approximately 3.4 million people who were members of the Kaiser health insurance and provider program in the Southern California region between December 2020 and August this year.

The study, published Monday in the medical journal The Lancet, also revealed that the vaccine was 93 percent effective against the highly contagious Delta variant for at least six months after the second injection.

But the researchers also found that the vaccine’s effectiveness against infection decreased from 88 percent a month after receiving the full dose to 47 percent after six months.

The results of the new study were published on the same day that the European Union’s drug regulator approved the use of booster injections (booster) Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 18 years and over. However, it is the individual countries that will decide whether or not to recommend the injection for wider use.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in a statement Monday that administering one dose of Pfizer booster vaccine “may be considered at least six months after the second dose for persons aged 18 years and over.”

The EMA states that people with severely weakened immune systems should be given a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 28 days after they receive their second shot.

These guidelines come as some EU member states have started giving booster injections, while others are still discussing how widely used booster it’s in their population.

Meanwhile, The New York Times newspaper Monday (5/10) stated that Johnson & Johnson will ask the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the injection. booster for the single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

The US pharmaceutical company announced last month that clinical trials showed a second injection of its vaccine increased its effectiveness against the virus by 94 percent about two months after the first dose, which was about 70 percent effective.

A patient receives a booster for their COVID-19 vaccine during the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination clinic in Southfield, Michigan, USA, September 29, 2021. (REUTERS/Emily Elconin)

A patient receives a booster for their COVID-19 vaccine during the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination clinic in Southfield, Michigan, USA, September 29, 2021. (REUTERS/Emily Elconin)

Johnson & Johnson said the company submitted its review to the FDA, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the EMA and other health authorities regarding the vaccine’s potential use as a vaccine. booster at least eight months after the first injection of the single-dose vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson’s request comes less than two weeks after the FDA approved a third injection of Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and over, and adults at high risk of becoming seriously ill. The FDA is currently considering whether to approve a third dose of Moderna’s vaccine. [uh/ab]

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