A new study by the Clalit Research Institute and Tel Aviv University shows that that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine offers lower protection against the South African coronavirus variant than against the British coronavirus variant.
The research, published on Motzoei Shabbos, showed that the South African variant succeeded in penetrating to a degree the protection offered by two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The study was published on MedRxiv and therefore has not yet been peer-reviewed.
At this stage it is difficult to assess how great the reduction in efficacy is.
However, researchers estimate that the vaccine still provides significant, even if reduced, protection against the South African variant.
The new research is in line with previous studies by researchers from Ben Gurion University and the University of Texas Medical Branch, both of which showed the vaccine to be effective, but less so, against the South African strain.
The study seems to counter a report released by Pfizer earlier this month that claimed the vaccine was 100% effective in preventing coronavirus among participants trialed in South Africa, where the mutation is prevalent.
The Health Ministry reported only 221 new cases of coronavirus on Motzoei Shabbos, with 0.6% of the people who screened having a positive result.
There were 268 patients listed in serious condition.
Israel’s death toll stood at 6,292.
Some 5.3 million Israelis have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, including more than 4.9 million who have received two doses.