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Pfizer COVID Vaccine’s Efficacy Could Be Diminishing: Israel Study

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As Israel grapples with a new surge in COVID-19 cases, a new study has found that Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine's effectiveness in preventing infections may have diminished significantly, although its efficacy against severe illness remains high, The New York Times reported.

Israel's health ministry reported last week that the analysis of the national health statistics data suggests that the Pfizer vaccine was just 39 percent effective against preventing infection in the country in late June and early July, compared with 95 percent from January to early April.

However, the shot was more than 90 percent effective against severe illness in both the time periods, The New York Times reported.

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Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine: Diminishing Efficacy

The results published in May, based on records from 24 January to 3 April, found that the Pfizer vaccine was 95 percent effective in preventing Covid infection in the country. In other words, the risk of getting Covid was nearly 100 percent reduced in vaccinated people compared to those who were not vaccinated.

It was also found that the vaccine was 97.5 percent effective against severe disease.

Researchers at the Ministry of Health then looked at data from 6 June to 3 July. In that period, they estimated that the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing infections was down to 64 percent.

Between 20 June and 17 July, they conducted another study.

In that period, the vaccine’s effectiveness was found to be even lower – at just 39 percent against Covid infection.

However, the vaccine's effectiveness against serious illness still remained high, at 91.4 percent.

Meanwhile, Israeli scientists have cautioned that the new study is much smaller than the first and that it measured cases in a narrower window of time.

Hence, the data should be taken very cautiously.

The new surge in Covid cases has been attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant, which is known to have originated in India.

(With inputs from The New York Times.)

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