The effectiveness of all three coronavirus vaccines available in the United States has dropped substantially after six months, new research published in the journal Science reveals.
The most dramatic drop was from Johnson & Johnson’s shot, whose effectiveness plummeted to 13.1% in September from 86.4% in March.
During the same time period, Pfizer’s vaccine also fell below the 50% effective mark to 43.3% from 86.9% when it was first administered.
Moderna’s effectiveness declined the least, but was still significant at 58% from 89.2%.
Last year then Food and Drug Administration head Dr. Stephen Hahn said the agency would not give permission for coronavirus vaccines that weren’t at least 50% effective against infection, according to The Epoch Times.
Protection against death also diminished, according to the research.
For those 65 or older, the effectiveness against death was weaker from July to October — 75.5% for Moderna’s vaccine, 70.1% for Pfizer’s, and 52.2% for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.
For younger people, the effectiveness was higher — 84.3% for Pfizer vaccine, 81.5% for Moderna, and 73% for Johnson & Johnson.
The researchers wrote that "our results suggest vaccines are less effective in preventing infection associated with the Delta variant."
However, the researchers pointed out that although the effectiveness of the vaccines lessens over time, the unvaccinated were still more likely to contract the illness or die from it.
The study was carried out by researchers from the Public Health Institute, the University of Texas School of Public Health, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center by examining coronavius infections and deaths by vaccination status in 780,225 veterans between Feb. 1 and Oct. 1.
Dr. Barbara Cohn, the lead author of the research, said in a statement that the "study gives researchers, policymakers, and others a strong basis for comparing the long-term effectiveness of COVID vaccines, and a lens for making informed decisions around primary vaccination, booster shots, and other multiple layers of protection, including masking mandates, social distancing, testing, and other public health interventions to reduce the chance of spread."
She emphasized that the research supports recommendations for many Americans to get booster shots in order to keep their level of protection against the coronavirus higher.
Although other reserach has also found that COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness has lessened over time, this was the first study to examine all three available in the United States.
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