Israeli Data Indicates Pfizer's COVID Shot 85 Percent Effective After First Dose

Reuters
Ido Efrati
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A woman administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a patient in Jerusalem, earlier this month.
A woman administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a patient in Jerusalem, earlier this month. Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Reuters
Ido Efrati

The first dose of Pfizer Inc and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is 85 percent effective, a study of Israeli healthcare workers published in The Lancet medical journal has found.

The research was conducted on more than 7,000 healthcare workers who were vaccinated at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel. Researchers saw an 85 percent reduction of symptomatic COVID-19 between 15 and 28 days after they were given the vaccine.

Overall infections, including among asymptomatic patients, were reduced by 75 percent.

Pfizer in an emailed statement said it was looking at real world data from Israel and other locations to understand the impact of its vaccine against COVID-19 arising from emerging variants.

The Lancet publication comes a day after Canadian researchers suggested that the second Pfizer dose be delayed given the high level of protection from the first shot in order to increase the number of people getting vaccinated.

On Wednesday, data released by Israeli health maintenance organization Maccabi indicates that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is 95 percent effective against the virus.

According to the data, out of 620,000 who received their second COVID vaccine, only 608 contracted the virus. Most of the fully vaccinated COVID patients, Maccabi said, suffered from light symptoms only, or were asymptomatic. Of the 608, 21 were hospitalized, and of those, seven had severe symptoms, three displayed moderate symptoms, and 11 had light symptoms.

Maccabi reported that so far more than a million of its members received the first shot of the vaccine, and over 720,000 are fully vaccinated.

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