Covid-19: Vaccine Works as Good in 'Real world' as in Trial in Israel

Business | February 15, 2021, Monday // 20:44|  views


More data from Israel's vaccination programme is suggesting the Pfizer vaccine prevents 94% of symptomatic infections.

This indicates the vaccine is performing just as well in a larger population as it did in the clinical trials.

It is proving highly effective at preventing illness and severe disease among all age groups, according to public health doctor Prof Hagai Levine.

Israel's largest health fund Clalit looked at positive tests in 600,000 vaccinated people and the same number of unvaccinated people, matched by age and health status.

It found 94% fewer infections among the vaccinated group.

 This was based on test results in people's medical records, usually taken if they had symptoms or were a close contact of someone who had tested positive.

And the vaccine prevented almost all cases of serious illness.

This pattern was the same in all age groups - including the over-70s, who may have been under-represented in clinical trials.

The data has not yet been formally published.

Israel is the first country in the world to see the impact of its vaccination programme, but it took significant population coverage and several weeks to reach this milestone.

Greater falls were seen in the over-60s who were vaccinated first and in cities that vaccinated their populations earlier - patterns not seen in earlier lockdowns. This provides strong evidence it was the vaccine, and not just the lockdown, driving down cases.

But Prof Segal warned falls had happened more slowly than expected, possibly because of the effect of the UK variant, which has become the dominant strain in Israel.

Israel has been experiencing a significant wave of infection and remains under strict measures - but with everyone over the age of 16 now entitled to get vaccine, the hope is at least the education system could be reopened too.

The country has also been met with criticism over questions about who should provide vaccines to the Palestinian territories.

Israel has only just also started to transfer some doses to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, so that vaccinations can begin for front-line health workers.

Meanwhile it has given the full two doses to a quarter of its resident population./Bbc

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