A Ben-Gurion University study says the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is less effective against the so-called South African variant of the virus.
The study says that the vaccine produces high levels of antibodies which efficiently combat both the generic strain of the virus and the British variant.
The vaccine only moderately neutralized the South African variant, however. It is also less effective against strains that combine both the British and South African variants.
“Our study validates the clinical efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine, but raises concerns regarding its efficacy against specific SARS-CoV-2 circulating variants,” the authors write.
The study says the antibodies of people who have received the vaccine appear more resistant to the virus, including its variants, than antibodies of people who recovered from the virus.
People who received the full effects of the second dose saw a twofold increase in protection over the first dose.
People who recovered from the virus are also less protected against the South African strain than the British variant.