According to a new scientific study those who were first to receive their jabs could be just 50% protected by winter as the vaccines become less effective after six months.
Pfizer/BioNTech and the AstraZeneca vaccines start to wane and the reseasonable “worst case scenario” could see protection fall to below 50% for the elderly and healthcare workers come winter.
Pfizer jab was 88% effective within a month against Covid after the second dose, but after six months protection fell to 74%, which suggests protection dropped by 14 percentage points within four months, according to analysis from the Zoe Covid study.
The AstraZeneca vaccine protection stood at 77% a month after the second dose, but after five months it decreased by 67%, which suggests protection drops by 10 percentage points within three months.
This has heightened fears that the UK could see a fourth wave at the worst possible time as more people mix indoors during the winter months, which will most likely see Covid and other viruses spread.
Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the Zoe Covid Study app said, “In my opinion, a reasonable worst-case scenario could see protection below 50% for the elderly and healthcare workers by winter.
“If high levels of infection in the UK, driven by loosened social restrictions and a highly transmissible variant, this scenario could mean increased hospitalisations and deaths.
“We urgently need to make plans for vaccine boosters, and based on vaccine resources, decide if a strategy to vaccinate children is sensible if our aim is to reduce deaths and hospital admissions.
“Waning protection is to be expected and is not a reason to not get vaccinated.
“Vaccines still provide high levels of protection for the majority of the population, especially against the Delta variant, so we still need as many people as possible to get fully vaccinated.”
The ZOE study drew their research from over 1.2m test reuslts and participants since December last year.