Israel’s largest healthcare provider has reported a 94 percent drop in COVID-19 symptomatic infections among 600,000 people who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the country’s largest study to date.
Clalit the health maintenance agency (HMO), which covers more than half of all Israelis, said the same group was 92 percent less likely to get a serious illness from the virus.
The comparison was against a group of similar size, with a similar medical history, who did not receive the vaccine.
“It vaguely shows that the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is highly effective in the real world a week after the second dose, just as it was found in the clinical study,” said Ran Balicer, new chief executive Clalit Customization.
He said the data showed that the Pfizer vaccine, developed in partnership with BioNTech in Germany, was even more effective two weeks or more after the second sight.
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, which has been recording Israel’s national data, said on Sunday that there had been a sharp decline in hospitalization and an earlier illness identified earlier among the first age group to receive its vaccines – aged 60 or over – for the first time in those aged 55 and over.
Hospitals and serious illness continued to rise in younger groups who started vaccination weeks later.
Israel has been rapidly releasing the vaccine and its database offers insights into vaccine efficacy and the extent to which countries may receive herd protection.