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COVID Variant Can "Break Through" This Vaccine, Says Alarming New Study

Prevention measures still need to be taken. 
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab
Female doctor or nurse giving shot or vaccine to a patient's shoulder. Vaccination and prevention against flu or virus pandemic.

One of the biggest concerns since the first COVID-19 variants were identified in December 2020, is whether or not the currently offered vaccines would offer protection against them. Over the last few months, health experts have been quite confident that they would. However, according to a new Israeli study, one vaccine in particular will not protect you against one of the widely circulating variants. Read on to find out which one—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.

The South African Variant Has a Greater Likelihood of "Breaking Through" Pfizer Vaccine

According to the new study, conducted by Tel Aviv University and Clalit and involving the test results of 800 people, the South African variant, B.1.351, has a greater likelihood of "breaking through" the Pfizer vaccine compared to the other variants. The researchers claim that of the 800 people, half tested positive for the virus over 14 days after receiving at least one dose. The other half were those who were unvaccinated, but tested positive. While the South African variants only made up around one perfect of positive tests, it was a whopping eight times more likely to show up in a person who received both Pfizer shots.

"Based on patterns in the general population, we would have expected just one case of the South African variant, but we saw eight," Prof. Adi Stern, lead research in the group, told The Times of Israel. "Obviously, this result didn't make me happy. We can say it's less effective, but more research is needed to establish exactly how much."

What does this mean? Prof. Ran Balicer, director of research at Clalit, noted to the Times that this study is "very important," as it highlights the necessity to continue taking prevention measures even if vaccinated. "It is the first in the world to be based on real-world data, showing that the vaccine is less effective against the South African variant, compared to both the original virus and the British variant," he said. "These preliminary findings necessitates close continued attention to the dissemination of this strain in Israel, emphasizing the need for epidemiological monitoring and systematic sequencing, in order to contain further spread of the South African variant in Israel," he said.

RELATED: This COVID Vaccine Has the Most Side Effects, Study Says

How to Avoid the Variants

So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.