Pfizer Vaccine Very Effective in Israel

Maccabi Healthcare Services in Israel announced on Thursday that the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine currently stands at 93 percent. Their calculation was based upon a comparison of 523,000 fully vaccinated people with a ‘diverse’ group of people who had not been vaccinated.

Of the people vaccinated with both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, only 544 have subsequently been diagnosed with the coronavirus (a rate of 0.1 percent). Among those 544, only four people had severe infections and none of them died.

Full protection against COVID-19 is thought to start one week after the second injection, so the Maccabi analysis covered its members who were seven or more days on from receiving that second dose.

Dr Miri Mizrahi ReuveniDr Miri Mizrahi Reuveni, Maccabi Healthcare Services (Courtesy)

Dr Miri Mizrahi Reuveni, a senior Maccabi official, said:

“This data unequivocally proves that the vaccine is very effective and
we have no doubt that it has saved the lives of many Israelis.”

Maccabi reported that among those infected, the vast majority suffered only mild symptoms or none at all. Out of the 544 infected, only 15 patients needed hospital treatment, four of them in a severe condition, three in a moderate condition and eight in a mild condition.

Within the ‘control group’ of about 628,000 people who have not yet been vaccinated, there were 18,435 active infections, a rate of 2.9 percent.

Hospital officials said they are seeing a dramatic change.

Prof Idit Matot of Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital said:

“Once, we hardly saw young people in our wards. Today we see
more people under the age of 60 than over the age of 60.”

“At present, less than 20 percent of our patients are over the age of 60
– including those who are not vaccinated.”

Dr Mizrahi Reuveni expressed the opinion that:

“Since there is active morbidity among children and adolescents up to the age of 16
who cannot be vaccinated, and the mutations of the virus are much more contagious,
this means that whoever does not get vaccinated will be infected sooner or later.”

So she appealed to Israelis:

“Please hurry up and make an appointment as soon as possible.
Protect yourself from a serious illness and, God forbid, from death,
as well as the possibility that you will infect and endanger others.”

Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science, stated on Thursday that, since the peak death rate in January, there has been a 38 percent decrease in the number of patients in serious condition and a 40 percent decrease in the number of deaths among people over the age of 60.