Pfizer COVID Vax Protection Wanes ‘Rapidly’ Just Weeks After Second, Third Doses: JAMA

Peer-reviewed study shows antibody levels drop quickly to 19$ at weeks 12 to 14.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Immunity against COVID’s omicron variant fades “rapidly” after the second and third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, Forbes reports.
  • The findings come from a peer-reviewed study published in JAMA Network Open on Friday.
  • A Danish study of 128 people who had received two or three doses saw levels of omicron-specific neutralizing antibodies drop rapidly after a second and third dose of the Pfizer jab.
  • Researchers said that antibody levels, which protect against infection and disease, were much lower than the level of antibodies specific to the original and delta coronavirus variants.
  • The number of omicron-specific antibodies detected in participants’ blood dropped “rapidly” from 76% four weeks after the second shot to 53% at weeks eight to 10 and 19% at weeks 12 to 14.
  • Antibody levels started to drop as early as three weeks after the booster shot, falling nearly five-fold for the original variant, 5.6-fold for delta and 5.4-fold for omicron between weeks three and eight.
DOCTORS SAY BOOSTING IS NOT A “VIABLE STRATEGY”:
  • Medical experts are questioning whether everyone even needs a fourth booster shot or even if regular boosting is a sustainable strategy to manage the coronavirus long-term, Forbed reports elsewhere.
  • Senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security Dr. Amesh Adalja argued that repeated vaccine boosting is not “a viable strategy.” Adalja also explained that it’s not clear that younger groups without high-risk health conditions “benefit much from even third doses.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Neutralizing antibodies target the virus and stop it from replicating.
  • COVID cases are higher in U.S. states and territories that are more highly vaccinated, such as Puerto Rico, Maine, Vermont, and Rhode Island, where populations are experiencing what the CDC calls “high” occurrence of the virus but whose populations are also more than three-quarters vaccinated.