Vaccine efficacy falls sharply over time, study finds as Sri Lanka rolls out Pfizer booster

ECONOMYNEXT – Pfizer BionTech, Moderna and Jansen vaccines reduce over time a US study has found as Sri Lanka starts the rollout of booster dose to continue the battle against Coronavirus as the island re-opens the economy and patient numbers start to go up.

Sri Lanka says 14 million doses of Pfizer are on order to vaccinate the 20 million population in stages.

A study done by the Public Health Institute, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Texas Health Science Center with the participation of 780,225 vaccine receivers has shown that overall vaccine protection for three vaccines declining from 87.9 percent in February 2021 to 48.1 percent by October 2021.

“The decline was greatest for the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine, with protection against infection declining from 86.4 in March to 13.1 percent in September” the report published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science said.

“Declines for PfizerBioNTech were from 86.9 percent to 43.3 percent and Declines for Moderna were 89.2 percent to 58 percent ”

Sri Lanka’s most widely used vaccine is Sinopharm, though Moderna has also been used.

The study shows that vaccination remained protective against death in those who became infected during the Delta surge.

“For those under 65 years old, vaccines overall were 81.7 percent effective against death. Protection against death was greatest for the Pfizer vaccine, at 84.3 percent. Moderna was the next most effective, at 81.5 percent. Jansen was 73percent effective” the study showed.

“For those 65 and over, overall vaccine effectiveness against death was 71.6 percent. Moderna was 75.5 percent effective.Pfizer was 70.1 percent effective. Jansen was 52.2 percent effective”

Given the declines in vaccine protection and the dominance of the fast spreading Delta variant, researchers urge swift action to promote primary vaccination, boosters and encourage masking, social distancing and other layers of protection against infection.

“It is not a good news to hear that the effectiveness of the vaccines is reducing,” State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals, Channa Jayasumana told reporters on Saturday (6).

“Researchers suggest a booster dose as the solution for this, and follow basic health guidelines.

“We sincerely ask the general public to strictly follow the guidelines. As per the data the coming in December does not seems good”

Sri Lanka Started the booster dose officially on November 01,2021, initially vaccinating the front line health workers, tri forces personnel and tourism sector employees.

So far booster dose of Pfizer BionTech vaccine has been given to 44,111.

Director General of Health Services, Asela Gunawardena said, after frontline workers, vaccination of the general population will start and all who have passed six months since the second dose will be given the booster.

“Once we complete given the booster dose to the healthcare workers and frontline workers we are going to start giving booster dose to the 60 and above population, for the people who are having co-morbidities, who are undergoing transplant surgeries or having carcinomas or chemotherapy” Gunawardena said.

“And we have already ordered 14 million dose of Pfizer vaccine for that boost vaccination. The booster dose will be given six months after the second dose. So according to their second dose the boosted wash will be given to the whole population”

Meanwhile State Minister Jayasumana said, the Ministry is waiting for the approval for the recently developed molnupiravir anti-COVID drug.

“We need to act quickly. Because many countries have placed their order for this. If we delay, we will be late to obtain the medicine” Jayasumana said.

Gunawardena said is has already been communicated to the advisory committee of communicable diseases and the recommendation will be given soon.

Vietnam breaks Covid-19 treatment limits, experimental Molnupiravir at home, Remdesivir in hospital

Vietnam, among global leaders in combating Coronavirus gave Molnupravir in home care self-medication packs along with blood thinners, and steroids with instruction sheets and hotline assistance as case spiked from the Delta variant from August.
(Colombo/ Nov 07/2021)

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