Two Pfizer jabs give 70% protection against hospitalisation with Omicron

Two doses of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine gives people around 70% protection against hospitalisation with the Omicron variant, according to a major study from South Africa.

The country’s largest private health insurance administrator, Discovery Health, has produced the first real-world data on how effective the jab is in the face of the new mutated variant.

It was based on more than 211,000 positive Covid-19 test results from November 15 to December 7, around 78,000 of which were thought to be Omicron.

The study calculated that two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine offered 70% protection against hospitalisation compared with someone who was unvaccinated.

This compares to the 90% efficacy of the vaccine against hospital admission during South Africa’s outbreak of the Delta variant.

It is thought that the jabs provide 33% protection against infection, a drop from 80% compared to previous waves.

The analysis also shows protection against hospital admission is maintained across all ages, in people from 18 to 79 years, with slightly lower levels of protection for the elderly.

It concluded that there was a higher risk of reinfection during the fourth wave than during previous waves but the risk of hospitalisation overall among adults was 29% lower now than during the country’s first wave early last year.

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