Only 4 severe cases among 500,000 given Pfizer vax in Israel

Jerusalem: Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine was 93 per cent effective at protecting against the virus, a leading Israeli health care provider that has vaccinated half a million people with both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, said.

According to the health care provider, only 544 people — or 0.1 per cent — have been subsequently diagnosed with the Covid-19, there have been four severe cases and no one has died. Full protection against Covid-19 for people who have been vaccinated is believed to kick in a week after the second shot, so the Maccabi data covers all those of its members who are at seven or more days after receiving that second dose, reports The Times of Israel.

Maccabi's statistics are being closely monitored around the world, for giving the first major insight into how the vaccine performs outside of clinical trials. And they are being widely hailed for indicating that real-world effectiveness is close to 95 per cent efficacy cited after Pfizer's clinical trials, the report 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," said Miri Mizrahi Reuveni, senior Maccabi official, after the new data release. She stressed that among those who have been vaccinated and become infected, the vast majority have experienced the coronavirus lightly.

Out of the 523,000 fully vaccinated people, 544 were infected with Covid-19, of whom only 15 needed hospitalisation — eight are in mild condition, three in moderate condition and four in severe condition.

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