A The plan for the booster vaccines is “urgent” because the protection provided by two doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca injections could fall below 50% for the elderly by winter, a prominent scientist has warned.
Professor Tim Spector, senior scientist at study app Zoe Covid, said the results showed protection against two vaccines began to wane “even within six months.”
He said: “In my opinion, a reasonable worst-case scenario could see less than 50% protection for seniors and healthcare workers by winter.
“If there are high levels of infection in the UK, due to relaxed social restrictions and a highly transmissible variant, this scenario could lead to increased hospitalizations and deaths.
“We urgently need to plan immunization reminders and decide whether a strategy for immunizing children is the right one. “
Zoe’s latest analysis, based on test results from 1.2 million app users, suggested the Pfizer jab was 88% effective in preventing Covid-19 infection one month later the second dose, but that number dropped to 74% after five to six months.
For the AstraZeneca vaccine, protection increased from 77% one month after the second dose to 67% four to five months later.