Immunity induced by Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine declines with time, Mayo Clinic research finds

In a research carried out on the Mayo Clinic, USA, scientists have investigated the long-term efficacy of the mRNA-based coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) in opposition to symptomatic illness.

The findings reveal that though breakthrough infections happen in totally vaccinated people, the vaccine stays efficient in opposition to symptomatic COVID-19 a number of months after full vaccination. The research is presently out there on the medRxiv* preprint server.

Study: Durability analysis of the highly effective BNT162b2 vaccine against COVID-19. Image Credit: Rido / Shutterstock


Within the USA, three COVID-19 vaccines together with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech), mRNA1273 (Moderna), and Ad26.COV2.S (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen) have acquired emergency use approval (EUA) by the US Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) by February 2021. In keeping with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) report, greater than 445 million vaccine doses have been administered to over 205 million folks by September 2021 within the USA. Given its excessive efficacy in opposition to extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) an infection and symptomatic COVID-19, the mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 has lately acquired full approval by the FDA. Nonetheless, with an rising prevalence of the delta variant, a number of vaccine-breakthrough instances have been reported throughout the nation.

Vaccine-breakthrough instances may result from numerous elements, together with waning vaccine efficacy, elimination of restriction on non-pharmacological management measures (mask-wearing, bodily distancing, and motion restriction), or the emergence of vaccine-resistant viral variants. To interrupt the chain of transmission, it’s thus essential to judge the sturdiness of COVID-19 vaccines and implement acceptable methods.

Within the present research, the scientists have examined the sturdiness of safety provided by BNT162b2 in opposition to laboratory-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 an infection.

Examine design

The research was carried out on totally vaccinated individuals who have been examined on the Mayo Clinic for suspected symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 an infection. As per the overall protocol, two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine are administered at an interval of 18 – 28 days. Individuals who have been vaccinated between February and August 2021, have been included within the evaluation.

The scientists carried out a test-negative case-control evaluation to evaluate the sturdiness of vaccine efficacy. Particularly, they used conditional logistic regression fashions to evaluate the likelihood of symptomatic COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 hospitalization (adverse management) after full vaccination at particular time factors: 30, 60, 90, 120, and 150 days after full vaccination.  

Necessary observations

The evaluation was carried out on 11,606 individuals who have been totally vaccinated with BNT162b2 and subsequently underwent PCR-based SARS-CoV-2 testing on the Mayo Clinic. Of those folks, 670 examined optimistic for SARS-CoV-2. The ultimate evaluation included 652 individuals who had a optimistic take a look at outcome after full vaccination (instances) and 5946 individuals who had a adverse take a look at outcome after full vaccination (controls).

The findings revealed that the danger of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 an infection will increase with time elapsed because the final vaccination. In totally vaccinated folks, no important correlation was noticed between the danger of an infection and age, intercourse, race, and ethnicity. Nonetheless, a discount within the danger of non-COVID-19 hospitalization was noticed with time because the final vaccination. This remark means that the confounding elements could affect the regression logistic mannequin to offer an underestimated details about waning vaccine efficacy.

Threat of SARS-CoV-2 an infection after first-dose vaccination

The evaluation concerned 15,180 individuals who underwent COVID-19 testing after receiving the primary dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine. A complete of 1061 folks have been recognized as optimistic instances. The findings revealed that the danger of an infection was decrease after 150 days of first-dose vaccination in comparison with that after 4 days of first-dose vaccination.

Moreover, the scientists carried out a separate set of analyses by contemplating the time of vaccination and the incidence of COVID-19 in a given area on the time of testing. These analyses concerned 974 folks with a optimistic outcome and 11,371 folks with a adverse take a look at outcome who have been vaccinated with the primary dose on or after January 1, 2021, and have been doubtlessly liable to an infection on the time of full vaccination. On this evaluation, no correlation was noticed between the danger of non-COVID-19 hospitalization and the time because the final vaccination. Importantly, the findings revealed that the danger of an infection will increase by 7-fold and 10-fold after 120 and 150 days of full vaccination, respectively, in comparison with that on the time of full vaccination. This means a waning vaccine immunity with time.

Examine significance

The research signifies that the BNT162b2-induced immunity in opposition to symptomatic COVID-19 regularly declines with time. Based mostly on the findings, the scientists emphasize on administering a 3rd booster dose, growing new vaccines in opposition to rising variants, and implementing non-pharmacological management measures.

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