Citizen Reporter
3 minute read
16 Sep 2021
5:29 pm

US and Israel data show booster shots necessary after a while

Citizen Reporter

Data shows that vaccine effectiveness fades over time and booster shots are necessary to ensure protection against the virus.

Companies are trying to convince South Africans to get vaccinated by offering incentives. Picture: iStock

Pfizer says data from the US and Israel suggests that the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine it manufactured with BioNTech wanes over time.

The company said that a booster dose is safe and effective at warding off the virus and new variants.

The company detailed its case in a presentation to outside advisers of the US Food and Drug Administration.

The panel is expected to recommend that Americans receive booster shots to maximise protection against the virus.

Moderna reported similar news about its own vaccine.

With less than 3.5% of Africans fully inoculated, headway is being made to secure more shots.

ALSO READ: Announcement of digital jab certificate in SA widely welcomed

South Africa remains Beta variant free

US and Israel data show booster shots necessary after a while
Covid South Africa variant, Covid-19 virus with African green flag. Picture iStock

Meanwhile, the South African Tourism Services Association (Satsa) has reiterated that the country is free of the Beta Covid varian, according to official data.

This means there has been no measurable level of Beta genomes sequenced for at least two weeks in the country.

The Beta variant, which was first identified in South Africa in December 2020, has not gained any meaningful presence outside South Africa owing to its low transmissibility and the effectiveness of vaccines against it.

Of the four major variants of concern identified by the World Health Organisation, Beta has the lowest transmissibility advantage (25%) over the ancestral Covid variant that originated in China.

ALSO READ:‘Worst pandemic in 100 years and still no vaccine equity for Africa
Corona Virus Mutant with blue human cell background. Picture – iStock.

By comparison, the Delta variant is 95% more transmissible and now accounts for over 96% of all genomes sequenced in the country.

Early small-scale studies of the Beta variant indicated a potential vaccine evasion risk. Still, these fears have been disproved in larger real-world research such as that released by the Canadian Immunization Network in July this year.

That same study revealed that a single dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine conferred an 82% protection against severe disease and death from Beta.

UK remains firm on its SA travel ban

US and Israel data show booster shots necessary after a while
China’s coronavirus travel ban is wreaking havoc among foreign companies and international schools, as executives, teachers and students are left stranded in their home countries. AFP/File/Hector RETAMAL

Most European countries have now removed travel restrictions for fully vaccinated South African travellers, and regular flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town have been re-established.

But the UK has refused to lift travel restrictions on visitors from South Africa.

African travellers have to stay in a government-appointed hotel under quarantine for 10 days at-
their own cost.

Satsa CEO David Frost said: “South Africa’s infection rate is now tracking at a sixth of the UK’s and below key destinations on the UK’s amber travel list, such as the US, France, Germany and Greece.

“There is absolutely no scientific basis on which the UK can continue to maintain its travel ban on South Africa.”

“On behalf of the 1.5 million people who rely on the South African tourism sector for work, we are now calling for an
urgent review of the available data by UK authorities.”

(Complied by Narissa Subramoney)

“Beta has effectively disappeared in South Africa, and with an estimated 70-80% of South
Africans already exposed to the virus, the accelerating vaccine programme will only build on
what is now a formidable level of community protection against the Delta variant now currently
in circulation.”
To interview David Frost, contact Natalia Rosa on 083 449 4334 or
SATSA, the voice of inbound tourism, is a member-driven association that offers inbound
tourism services companies the highest level of quality in the tourism industry. At SATSA, we
strive to maintain our three key qualities in all of the work we do: credibility, value and authority.
SATSA further provides support to members who require key services and benefits on a local
and regional level, and at international trade shows. The organisation also lobbies issues
associated and affecting the inbound tourism industry.
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