Percentage differences between Pfizer and Oxford - NRAS


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Percentage differences between Pfizer and Oxford

Sue4983 profile image

Hi there

I don’t know if anyone’s seen this in the papers this morning but it’s pretty worrying for people who are on immunosuppressant medication .The latest figures are now saying that one dose of the Oxford vaccine is only 33% effective and even after two it only increases to 66% whereas the Pfizer is 88% ! A big difference considering our percentages might be less anyway Surely the sensible thing would have been to give all of us the Pfizer to give us the best chance ! I’ve been working from home for over a year now and really want to get out to work again but with these figures it doesn’t give leave you with a good feeling ! Maybe I’m overreacting but what does anyone else think ?

41 Replies

Both vaccines have been shown to give good protection against severe illness which is the most important thing.The problem is that information is changing all the time as more studies become available. And none of them are measuring T cell immunity currently which may be more important long term.

This will give you some accurate information here:

Brushwork profile image
Brushwork in reply to oldtimer

They still don't know enough about the protection the vaccines give to those with suppressed immune systems. However, as there are huge numbers of people now vaccinated, our risk is reduced because those around us are protected.

Personally, I prefer to think that I have some protection and if I continue to be cautious while going about my life, I should be ok. I need some social interaction, I need to get out into the world. I won't get on public transport or fly anywhere, but locally life is better and I intend to make the most of it.

ks1966 profile image
ks1966 in reply to oldtimer

I’m having difficulty opening the link. Please can you email to me. Many thanks 🙏

I don’t take any notice....I don’t let the fact that I am old, have RA & am on immunosuppressant drugs take over.Of the people I know who have been unfortunate enough to contract Covid they have had both Pfizer & AZ vaccinations....& none have been immunosuppressed.

I reckon it’s all in the luck of the draw.... you are either in the wrong place at the wrong time or you’re not!

I cant take the higher Pfizer one due to adverse reactions with other drugs. My view is I have had it and I will go back out and live my life as I refuse to stay at home all the time. I decide which places to go too when out and if not comfortable leave. I know if I had COVID I have some antibodies in me and this means I have a chance at a better outcome.Life is for living. x

J1707 profile image
J1707 in reply to Deeb1764

I’m the same as Deeb

Katie-Mag profile image
Katie-Mag in reply to Deeb1764

Completely agree!

Maybe in time .. next time round for a booster, etc. rheumys could have more knowledge/info as to which vaccines suit those with RA? Early days for research and the Octave studies could have some evidence of which vaccine worked better on immunosuppressed.

Sue4983 profile image
Sue4983 in reply to Neonkittie17

Yeah that’s true I was just a bit shocked with those figures ! It seems a no brainer now that we should have had the Pfizer if not ruled out because of allergies I suppose hindsight is as they say a wonderful thing !

Neonkittie17 profile image
Neonkittie17 in reply to Sue4983

Yes my thoughts too, I said that to my GP and nurse and they agreed. It was just the fact the vaccine centre had chosen to use Pfizer on the day I went as apparently some days they alternated with AZ. I just don’t think that rheumatology departments were able to extract the immunosuppressed RD etc to put them forward for Pfizer even if they did feel it/have an inkling Pfizer could be more suitable for them.

madme1 profile image
madme1 in reply to Sue4983

Which one is the Astra Zeneca one then? Very confusing and it doesn't take me a long time to get confused these days. I've had the two and they were both Astra Zeneca.

Which particular research study was that? As the ones I’ve read have given a much higher percentage.

Anyway, so much of this is completely academic as it also depends on behaviour, your own genetic make-up etc as well as what illness and drugs you might be on.

They couldn’t give everyone the Pfizer as there wasn’t, and still isn’t, enough of it.

I stopped shielding last June, and have been carefully out and about since. Now I have had both vaccines I remain careful, but am going out further and to more populated places. I do not minimise the potential risks of this disease at all, but for the sake of my mental health I need to get back to a more normal life.

I would never say that anyone is over-reacting. You have to do what seems and feels right for you. However, I chose to live differently.

No it wasn’t a research study it was just a piece in the Telegraph this morning .I was shocked because I’d also seen higher percentages before ?

The efficacy figures are just becoming available now on immunosuppressed people, no one knew back at the beginning of the year just how effective the vaccines would be for us.No one knows how protected any individual is, only the averages... 66 % if it is true is one phenomenal amount of protection.

Seasonal flu vaccinations are around 40 - 60 % effective.

Sue4983 profile image
Sue4983 in reply to Mmrr

No these figures weren’t for the immunosuppressed so they would presumably be a lot lower that’s why I was shocked As far as I know those figures won’t be available till the end of August

Mmrr profile image
Mmrr in reply to Sue4983

The efficacy figures I have been reading for non immunosuppressed people is over 90 % and as high as 95 % , with AZ only marginally behind Pfizer.

Sue4983 profile image
Sue4983 in reply to Mmrr

Oh O K I didn’t know those figures were out yet Well that’s better news then !

I've just heard this on the radio and they said it referred to the variants and not the main strain of covid .

I dont read the telegraph so don't know if it's the same as what you've read ?

Just heard that too

I think these new figures refer to the efficacy of the vaccinations against the new Indian variant.

Haz58 profile image
Haz58 in reply to Katie-Mag

Yes this is true. I read the figures and they are what they think at the moment about the Indian variant. They are learning every day.

I believe these figures are from some research about the new Indian variant. The scientist I saw on TV this morning said not to read too much into the percentage differences and just be reassured both vaccines are very effective. He said there were several reasons the AZ percentages could be lower, including that it may take longer to get full immunity from the AZ vaccine and that there was more data for the phizer vaccine.

bpeal1 profile image
bpeal1 in reply to bpeal1

There is some discussion about it in the bbc website too. Covid: Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs effective against Indian variant - study

Sue4983 profile image
Sue4983 in reply to bpeal1

Yeah that was the same info as in the Telegraph It is talking about the variants but still quite worrying considering the Indian one looks like the up and coming threat at the moment but we’ll have to wait and see I suppose What else can we do !

bpeal1 profile image
bpeal1 in reply to Sue4983

The scientist this morning was definitely of the opinion that the vaccines were very effective and we shouldn’t be panicking about the Indian variant. That was definitely his take home message!

Hi Sue, I have had both doses of the Pfizer Vaccine, first one was alright, had a severe headache the first day, and had arm ache, and had aches and pains for a week. Second one had arm ache for about 2 or 3 days, pain comes and goes , still get pain in the arm it's been 6 weeks since I had the second vaccine.

I believe those particular numbers were regarding the Indian variant and they listed a number of reasons why the AZ number May currently look much lower including the fact it’s rollout is behind Pfizer‘s so many of those in the study with AZ had not yet had their second jab and the longer time to immunity with AZ. I think the important thing is there is a high level of protection and the more people are vaccinated the more this takes care of those who may have a less robust immune system/response. 🤞🏻

You just cannot believe all that we read . I agree it’s concerning but there is absolutely nothing we can do about percentages , all we know is is that it’s been proved that the vaccination is doing it’s right job of protecting us . It’s as good as it gets therefore . 😊

Where did this information come from? That isn't what the experts have been saying. Don't believe everything you read in the papers.

As I understand it the AZ vaccine data is not yet complete as it was not rolled out until later than Pfizer. Age seems to be a factor too - older adults have less robust immune systems and more older

adults have been given AZ,

The media did also say that the Pfizer jab was given to lots of NHS staff which would include more younger people whereas the AZ jab was given to more older people in surgeries/locations where they could not get to a large vaccination hub giving out the Pfizer jab (-70 degrees storage). Once more data is available the AZ stats may well change.

Hi it is true ,But an expert did say with the data

It was because the Pfizer was out first and with more data from AstraZeneca he does not think there will be much between them when AstraZeneca catch up with Pfizer on the data ,im sure i heard

HiI think there is still much to learn about the protection either of the vaccines will give the immunosuppressed .... but for the time being I take great comfort from the fact I have at least some protection, and that so many people around me are having the vaccine ...which will also help protect me. Along side of this I want a life that’s well lived. I won’t take risks that I haven’t fully considered first, but I won’t hide away in fear either.

Now that my RA is better controlled I still have a list of countries I want to visit during my lifetime when I feel the time is right (I was so lucky to get to Brazil and Argentina in Dec 1919 and I hope they can soon recover from Covid). Meanwhile I’ll hopefully be kicking the ass out of the UK for a while. 😆👍

I've heard several reasons offered for why the percentages differ between the two vaccines, including the fact that (as @BoneyC has mentioned above, the Pfizer jab was given to a higher proportion of younger people who are more likely to have a higher immune response anyway.

It has also been suggested that the efficacy of the AZ vaccine increases over a longer period so it could well be that in 6 months' time immune responses in those vaccinated will be higher than they are now.

Either way, both vaccines seem highly effective at preventing serious disease (or worse) and one only has to look at the drop in hospital admissions to see proof of that, which is surely what matters far more than early data which may well be refined/corrected once things have been assessed over a longer time period.

Any protection is better than no protection. I myself had Pfizer but I’d have being happier with any has long as give us our lives back to as normal as can be.

There was a Webinar by Prof Tim Spector discussing infection after full vaccination. Out of 52,000 vaccinated 513 were hospitalised which is about 1%, of those 113 which is 0.22%. All of those were in the top 2 categories of the vaccination groups, so very small numbers. I’m sure some of the 513 may have been on immunosuppressants, but the thing to focus on is they escaped death and hopefully serious after effects.

I think we have to use our common sense, avoid crowed areas. If eating indoors ensure they are following social distancing, and that your seated in a well ventilated area. I’m personally avoiding public transport and have no plans to get on a plane and holiday abroad.

Many of my friends are nurses on the frontline, and I’m now comfortable at the idea of meeting them outdoors. I don’t want COVID to win and leave me with no friends, so I will just be cautious. Take care and stay safe

Here’s the link to the webinar if interested, it’s only around 10 mins.

Does this relate to the research released in the media this weekend in relation to the Indian variant of covid. It takes longer for the antibodies for the AZ vaccine to build up so although it is only 66% now it’s s expected to be closer to 88% when enough time has passed for AZ to reach full immunity. This research into the Indian variant is still in early days and not completed. No need to worry just yet.

I couldn't have the Pfizer jab due to allergic reactions so had no choice in the matter. I have to work so I'm being very careful with hands, face and space and I have no fear in asking customers to social distance in my workplace. I need the social interaction at least at work otherwise I find it hard to get out of bed in the morning!!! 😂

both are good i think. A lot of politics go around efficacy of vaccines . i think we should take whichever is available.

Don't think you are over reacting I think you are right. I read the articles and I have requested that when I am allowed I get the Pfizer, as I think it gives me a better chance against 🤞

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