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Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness declines after six months

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
    https://thehill.com/policy/healthcar...ter-six-months

    Study shows Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness declines after six months


    A study published on Monday in The Lancet medical journal found that the efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine fell below 50 percent after about six months after the second dose.

    The Pfizer-funded study found that Pfizer's vaccine was 88 percent effective in the first month after full vaccination but dropped to 47 percent effectiveness at about six months. The vaccine was also found to be highly effective against the delta variant, which was found to be over 90 percent effective in the first months before dropping to 53 percent effectiveness after four months.

    Researchers determined that the waning immunity had to do with the amount of time since an individual was given the second shot rather than due to the highly infectious delta strain.
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    hmmmm
    tl/dr: Early entrants to House Pfizer need to be lining up for boosters post-haste.

    But where's the fun in stopping there?

    Science reporting sucks, in general, but this is an unusually clear example not just of how badly it sucks, which is little more than a bromide today, but how it sucks, specifically, giving us a chance to examine the failures in science reporting looking for underlying causes. Far too often, science reporters get the facts wrong because they can't comprehend the science. Excuse me while I cringe. But in this case, the suckage is systemic, making for a more irenic and detached critique.

    Compare the Hill reporter's synopsis of the study ...
    .
    Researchers determined that the waning immunity had to do with the amount of time since an individual was given the second shot rather than due to the highly infectious delta strain.

    with the study's findings as reportedly immediately following the synopsis ...
    .
    Reduction in vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infections over time is probably primarily due to waning immunity with time rather than the delta variant escaping vaccine protection.

    Emphasis on the "probably primarily" redacted from the reported synopsis.

    By the numbers from the study itself, there is a decline in effectiveness directly associated with the delta variant, but it's judged as less important than the decline due to the passage of time. To wit a decline against delta from 93 to 53 percent after four months is contrasted with a decline against non-delta from 97 to 67 after four to five months. Where the decline against delta measures 40 points after only four months, the decline against non-delta is only 30 after four to five months.
    .
    Among sequenced infections, vaccine effectiveness against infections of the delta variant was high during the first month after full vaccination (93% [95% CI 85–97]) but declined to 53% [39–65] after 4 months. Effectiveness against other (non-delta) variants the first month after full vaccination was also high at 97% (95% CI 95–99), but waned to 67% (45–80) at 4–5 months.

    Scientists speak carefully and deliberatively, in tentative terms so as not to go beyond their data, with close attention not merely to their results, but to their confidence in the results, reflecting their training. Journalists, conversely, are schooled away from modifiers, which are presented in the classroom in emotionally evocative terms like "weasel-wording," biasing against modifiers even when clearly indicated as above. Nobody wants to be called a weasel, and especially not by your boss.

    That's why I conclude the suckage is systemic, in this case. In science, modifiers aren't included for sport. In science, all modifiers matter! (Oh no I didn't!) Science researchers are just as interested in being able to claim definitive results as anyone else. (Cue the preening mathematical researchers pointing at exact results in the hundreds of thousands of decimal places. It must be mortifying, being a mere scientist.)

    A couple of minor things for numbers wonks, because this is me. Look at the confidence intervals [in boxed parentheses] and the measures (leading figures in the enclosing open parentheses) and note the measures aren't necessarily midpoints, e.g., the range for 67 isn't plus or minus a constant, but rather 67+13 on the high side v. 67-22 on the low. That's not an arithmetic error, it's how the modeling accounts for the distribution of data.

    Then look at the confidence ranges, from the tightest at four points, (99-95), for full vaccination against non-delta after a month, to the loosest, at 35 points, (80-45), for non-delta after four to five months, significantly larger than the 26 point range for delta, (65-39), after four months. That's a clear statement that the delta variant was not dominant at the beginning of the study period, but became dominant for the majority of the study period, creating larger sample sizes for delta infections, and hence, tighter confidence intervals.

    Obviously, given my druthers, independent of my membership in House Pfizer, I'd rather be exposed to non-delta. But as a member of House Pfizer, I'll take 67 percent protection over 53 percent every time.

    I know Bill is keen on natural immunity, so I'll add that this study doesn't address it, but that I'm keeping a weather eye out for any studies that look at or ideally compare the decline in the post-infected population, but I know already most of that population has also been vaccinated now so his cohort is going to be especially difficult to track down.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by mossrose View Post

      Well, that's good!

      But Kasha's mommy and daddy both just had the Pfizer last Friday, first dose.
      Y'all have months to go before you need to start worrying about boosters. Says here my second Pfizer dose was on April 6. That's six months ago now, and my chair, who finished her vaccinations just ahead of me, has already had a case of breakthrough covid.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

        Y'all have months to go before you need to start worrying about boosters. Says here my second Pfizer dose was on April 6. That's six months ago now, and my chair, who finished her vaccinations just ahead of me, has already had a case of breakthrough covid.
        I'm curious if folks who got their vaccines will get something in the mail (snail or E) notifying them that they should get a booster after 6 months has past since being vaxxed

        I'm always still in trouble again

        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
        "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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        • #19
          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
          AFAICT, not nearly as much.
          Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
          A series of studies found that the Moderna vaccine seemed to be more protective as the months passed than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Here’s why.
          .
          It was a constant refrain from federal health officials after the coronavirus vaccines were authorized: These shots are all equally effective.

          Accuracy alert, that's just not true. It was certainly inferred, but those of us watching the statements as they rolled out noted they were always careful to sidestep the question of which vaccine was better, deflecting that folks should get whatever vaccine was offered. But the article does link to a number of studies, and quotes careful researchers, so it's worth reading, with caveats.

          And scroll to the bottom, too, so you don't miss this:
          .
          Correction: Sept. 22, 2021
          An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to the nanoparticle used in Moderna's vaccine. It is a lipid nanoparticle, not a liquid nanoparticle.



          That's not systemic, as with the o/p article. That's a not-so-sciency science reporter, one who doesn't understand the science. I'd blame the copy editor except the lede error points at the reporter, and the tightening of newsroom budgets has pretty much eliminated copy editors now in favor of the editorial standards that saw that faceplant corrected. Well, maybe not a full faceplant for most folks, but after all the hours I spent looking at the development of the lipid containers for the mRNA vaccines, it stood out like a sore thumb.

          This one wasn't me, but I regularly write reporters using the links on their articles, respectfully pointing out factual and editing errors.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
            I'm curious if folks who got their vaccines will get something in the mail (snail or E) notifying them that they should get a booster after 6 months has past since being vaxxed
            I haven't gotten anything yet, but then again, I hit six months this past week, and my snail mail is currently being forwarded by the USPS, which doesn't lend me much confidence. I was picking up unforwarded mail for the marine and wife for months, despite their repeated change of address submissions, all the way until I made the final shift to GA on Sep. 30.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
              I'm curious if folks who got their vaccines will get something in the mail (snail or E) notifying them that they should get a booster after 6 months has past since being vaxxed
              I got a notice that I can't get a booster yet, because I didn't have the Pfizer vaccine.

              I expect that I'll get another notice giving me the okay when the Moderna booster is approved, presumably late this month.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                Flu shots are yearly and for different variants. This is a one-shot-fits-all and needed a few times a year.
                If this thing keeps mutating they will probably create a yearly shot for it that updates the mRNA to cover any mutations. We have been pretty lucky that so far the mutations have all fit fairly well under the umbrella of the current vaccine, although the delta one is straining it's effectiveness.

                Comment

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