חזי לוי
Health Ministry Director General Hezi Levi
Photo: Moshe Mizrahi
A man gets vaccinated at a vaccination center in Jerusalem

Israel logs Indian COVID variant, sees some vaccine efficacy against it

Health Ministry Director General Hezi Levi tells Kan public radio Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine appears to have 'reduced efficacy' on the new strain, which was detected in Israel last week among eight people arriving from abroad

Reuters, Ynet |
Published: 04.20.21 , 10:18
Israel has registered eight cases of a coronavirus variant first identified in India and believes that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is at least partially effective against it, an Israeli health official said on Tuesday.
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  • An initial seven cases of the Indian variant were detected in Israel last week among people arriving from abroad and who have since undergone preliminary testing, the Health Ministry said.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    ירושלים
    ירושלים
    A man gets vaccinated at a vaccination center in Jerusalem
    (Photo: EPA)
    "The impression is that the Pfizer vaccine has efficacy against it, albeit a reduced efficacy," the ministry's director-general, Health Ministry Director General Hezi Levi, told Kan public radio, saying the number of cases of the variant in Israel now stood at eight.
    The ministry did not immediately respond to a request for more details on the research into the Indian variant.
    Britain and Ireland have also said they are investigating the variant after detecting it within their borders.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    חזי לוי
    חזי לוי
    Health Ministry Director General Hezi Levi
    (Photo: Moshe Mizrahi)
    Israel, whose population is 9.3 million, has fully vaccinated around 81% of citizens or residents over the age of 16. COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are down sharply.
    In the meantime, Israel on Tuesday posted 129 new coronavirus cases diagnosed on Monday, with infection rate remaining at 0.3%, after 52,588 COVID-19 tests had been conducted.
    At least 187 patients remain in serious condition, of whom 111 are ventilated. The official death toll now stands at 6,342.

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