Data released today from South Africa shows that the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine is only 30% effective at best in stopping infection by the Omicron COVID variant which is spreading twice as fast as the Delta variant which was already twice as infective as the earlier COVID strains.
The good news is that the Pfizer vaccine appears to be very effective in preventing serious disease even among the high risk groups.
The bad news is that in South Africa nearly all of the people developing COVID Omicron have had both the two shots of the vaccine but have also previously recovered from COVID in some earlier variant or the original strain.
That means that the 30% level of protection against catching the Omicron variant is the high mark because people in the study not only had been fully vaccinated but had also recovered from another form of COVID and therefore had antibodies from that infection. People who have not previously had COVID before getting the Pfizer vaccine may and almost certainly WILL have a lower than 30% level of protection.
The study doesn’t look at those who got a Pfizer booster shot because that is too recently been given in SA and says nothing about Moderna’s Vaccine because it was not given in any great number to people in SA being an American based company (Cambridge, MA) while Pfizer is more international.