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Report of Effectiveness Drop

New data from Israel suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech may be less effective in protecting against infections caused by the Delta viral variant, the Wall Street Journal reports. It adds, though, that the data indicates the vaccine still protects against severe disease.

Data released by the Israeli health ministry indicates that the vaccine protected 64 percent of vaccinated individuals against infection during a Delta variant outbreak there and 94 percent were protected against severe illness, the Journal says. It notes that more than 80 percent of the adult Israeli public is vaccinated, mostly with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and that, while Israel has been experiencing an uptick in cases, its caseload remains low as compared to other countries.

The Journal adds that data from the UK, where the Delta variant is now prevalent, indicates that full vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca vaccines reduces the risk of symptomatic disease and hospitalization. In particular, the Washington Post notes that Public Health England researchers found the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 88 percent effective in protecting against symptomatic disease due to the Delta variant.

Still, the Post notes that a dip in effectiveness against the variant might "have serious implications for countries betting almost entirely on mass immunization campaigns — as well as poorer nations that have barely started their own vaccine drives."

The Scan

Support for Moderna Booster

An FDA advisory committee supports authorizing a booster for Moderna's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, CNN reports.

Testing at UK Lab Suspended

SARS-CoV-2 testing at a UK lab has been suspended following a number of false negative results.

J&J CSO to Step Down

The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Stoffels will be stepping down as chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson by the end of the year.

Science Papers Present Proteo-Genomic Map of Human Health, Brain Tumor Target, Tool to Infer CNVs

In Science this week: gene-protein-disease map, epigenomic and transcriptomic approach highlights potential therapeutic target for gliomas, and more