A preliminary study conducted in Israel found that the Pfizer-BioNTech booster injection causes similar side effects to the second dose, such as pain at the injection site.
Israel began administering booster vaccines to fully vaccinated people over 60 last month as part of its effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, especially as the highly infectious delta variant continues to establish itself in the country as the dominant strain.
Israel’s largest healthcare provider, Clalit, announced Sunday that more than 240,000 people have received a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. according to Reuters.
Of those recipients, about 4,500 people took part in a booster vaccine survey, which all received between July 30 and August 1, Reuters reported.
Eighty-eight percent of the participants said they felt “similar or better” compared to how they felt after receiving their second dose.
Thirty-one percent reported having side effects, the most common symptom being pain at the injection site.
About 0.4 percent of those surveyed said they had trouble breathing and one percent said they received medical treatment for one or more side effects.
Ran Balicer, Clalit’s chief innovation officer, said that while the survey results are “initial and self-reported,” they create a juxtaposition between the side effects of the second dose and the booster shot showing that “in most cases they are similar or less in reinforcement. “
He said the survey results further reinforce the benefits of getting vaccinated.
“Although we do not yet have long-term research on the efficacy and safety of the third booster dose, for the personal risk management of anyone 60 years and older, these findings continue to point to the benefit of immunization now, along with careful behavior between adults and avoiding meeting in closed spaces, “said Balicer, according to Reuters.
The world is watching Israel begin giving booster injections, and other countries weighing the decision of whether or not a third dose will be necessary to protect people against the delta variant or future strains that could be more virulent or spread more easily.
Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciBerlin nightclubs participate in COVID-19 Sheriff pilot project: Sturgis rally kick-off among busiest in decades Fauci is ‘very concerned’ about COVID-19 surge after Sturgis rally MORE, President BidenJoe Biden, Cuomo’s senior assistant, resigns. Berlin nightclubs participate in the COVID-19 pilot project.The chief medical adviser said Sunday that some people are likely to need booster injections to provide continued protection against the virus, especially as preliminary data shows that protection in fully vaccinated individuals diminishes over time.
Data released last month showed that the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine fell from 96 percent to 84 percent in six months.
Fauci said the booster injections will likely be given first to the elderly and immunosuppressed, as was the initial launch of the vaccine, noting that it will happen “as soon as the data gets to us.”