Pfizer vaccine ‘highly effective and prevents serious illness’ – Israeli study

An Israeli military paramedic prepares a Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, © AP/Press Association Images

A large-scale Israeli study has pointed to the efficacy of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at preventing symptomatic infections with coronavirus.

Clalit, the largest of Israel’s four healthcare providers, released a study that compared infections in 600,000 Israelis who had received the vaccine with 600,000 who were not immunised.

The study found a 94% drop in symptomatic infections and a 92% drop in serious cases of the disease among those vaccinated.

It said “the efficacy of the vaccine is preserved in every age group”, particularly a week after the second dose of the vaccine.

Nuns, asylum seekers and foreign workers wait in line to receive their first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination centre in Tel Aviv, Israel (Ariel Schalit/AP)

The researchers said the preliminary findings of the ongoing research are “aimed at emphasising to the population that has yet to vaccinate that the vaccine is highly effective and prevents serious illness”.

Israel launched its Covid-19 vaccine campaign in December.

Since then, more than a quarter of the population – 2.5 million people – have received two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and more than 42% have received the first shot, according to the Health Ministry.


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