Jerusalem – A 94 per cent drop in symptomatic Covid-19 cases among 600,000 people who received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was reported by Israel’s largest healthcare provider on Sunday (Feb 14).
According to Health maintenance organisation (HMO) Clalit, the same group also showed they were less likely to develop severe illness from the virus by a rate of 92 per cent. HMO Clalit covers more than half of Israel’s population, reported Reuters.
The group was compared to another of the same size with matching medical histories who did not receive the vaccine.
Clalit’s chief innovation officer Ran Balicer said, “It shows unequivocally that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is extremely effective in the real world a week after the second dose, just as it was found to be in the clinical study.”
Mr Balicer noted that the data indicates Pfizer’s vaccine would be more effective two weeks and beyond after the second shot, which is the required doses to complete the vaccination process.
There has been a sharp decline in hospitalisation and serious illness identified earlier among the first group that was vaccinated which were those aged 60 and older, said researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science on Sunday. They have been recording national data and noted similar trends for the first time among those aged 55 and older who were vaccinated.
Meanwhile, hospitalisations and serious illness are still on the rise among the younger generation who received their vaccines weeks later.
To date, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccine are the only approved Covid-19 vaccines in Singapore. Based on the update provided by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday (Feb 10), more than 250,000 individuals have received their first dose of the vaccine as part of the nationwide vaccination programme.
“Should vaccine supplies arrive as scheduled, the whole population could be vaccinated within this year,” said Mr Lee./TISG