VACCINE TEAM: How effective are the vaccines against variants?

Updated: Apr. 12, 2021 at 7:18 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - During Monday morning’s White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked about a small Israeli study that found some patients fully vaccinated with Pfizer mRNA vaccines were later infected by the South African variant of the coronavirus.

“The important thing is to look at what the denominator of vaccinated people is. That number of individuals who were breakthrough infections is not at all incompatible with a 90 plus percent vaccine efficacy. So I don’t think that there needs to be concerned about any shift or change in the efficacy of the vaccine,” Fauci said.

“One of the wildcards in vaccine failures, the variants, and depending upon the particular variant vaccines handled them relatively well or not necessarily as well. But as I mentioned before, even with the three, five one in which the J and J for example, efficacy was down to 64%. There were essentially no deaths or hospitalizations in the individuals who were vaccinated,” according to Fauci.

But when asked about the patients in the study.

Dr. Fauci said, “Even if a vaccine fails to protect against infection, it often protects against serious disease.”

Dr. Fauci, who is director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to the president, explained these “Breakthrough” cases.

“A breakthrough infection or a vaccine failure is when a person contracts an infection despite being vaccinated against it. We see this with all vaccines in clinical trials in the real world, no vaccine is 100% efficacious or effective, which means that you will always see breakthrough infections regardless of the efficacy of your vaccine.”

Dr/ Fauci said the study was a small sample and much more research needs to be done. But explained the vaccines are important to stop even more variants from developing.

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