Reuters Ronen Zvulun
The Israeli Army Radio quoted the country’s epidemic control coordinator, Nahman Ash, as saying that the first dose of the “Pfizer” vaccine provides less protection against Covid-19 than the producing company indicated.
According to the radio report, Ash said that many people became infected between the first and second doses of the vaccine, and the protection provided by the first dose appears to be “less effective than we thought,” adding that the data on the preventive effect of the first dose “is less than what Pfizer announced “.
During talks between Health Ministry officials ahead of today’s cabinet meeting, Ash also said that it was not certain that vaccines could protect against the mutated coronavirus.
About 2.2 million Israelis received the first dose of the “Pfizer” vaccine, while more than 300,000 received the two doses.
The Israeli Ministry of Health stated that more than 12,400 people had tested positive for corona after vaccination, including 69 people who received the second dose, representing 6.6% of the 189,000 people who were vaccinated and underwent Corona tests after vaccination.
According to the Ministry’s data, the effectiveness of the vaccine varies according to different age groups and the time periods that have elapsed since receiving its two doses.
On the other hand, Professor Gili Regev Yohai of Sheba Hospital expressed cautious optimism about the possibility of ending the health crisis, noting that the epidemiological research conducted in the hospital showed that the effectiveness of the vaccine reaches 98%, while the level of antibodies among the vaccinated is higher. Much higher for the patients who recovered.
And the research, conducted on hospital employees a week after they received the second dose of Pfizer, found that 100 out of 102 people who were tested had antibodies 6 to 20 times higher than they were in the previous week.
Regev considered that the decrease in the number of new infections is imminent, adding, however, that Israel needs to vaccinate between 70 and 90% of its population to reach herd immunity, due to the new strains that are more transmissible compared to the original virus.
Source: Israeli media