Research conducted by the Clalit Health Fund released Sunday shows that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is exceptionally effective in preventing infection and severe illness in all age groups, including those aged 70 and over.
The study includes data on some 1.2 million Israelis insured by Clalit, of whom about 600,000 have received both doses of the Pfizer’s vaccine.
It shows a reduction of 94% in the rate of symptomatic infection and a reduction of 92% in the rate of serious illness among those who received two doses of the vaccine.
The research also showed that a week after receiving the second dose, the Pfizer vaccine is 91-99% efficient in preventing the pathogen from evolving into a serious illness ranges.
The results are expected to become much more accurate as time passes and as more Israelis pass the two-week benchmark after receiving the second jab.
The research included 430,000 people aged 16-59 and about 170,000 aged 60 and over who had all received both vaccines at least one week before the study started.
All were tested and compared to a control group of non-vaccinated people of similar age ranges and health conditions.
"These results are from the first in a series of studies Clalit is conducting to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine," said the founding director of the Clalit Research Institute and senior advisor to the coronavirus cabinet Prof. Ran Balicer.
“We had to deal with challenges related to the clear differences between the vaccinated and non-vaccinated populations and their change over time, as well as the effects of the closure imposed and removed during that period,” Balicer added.
“Together with our colleagues at Harvard University we performed a series of tests to validate the results, and now it is clear that the Pfizer vaccine is most effective a week after the second dose.”
Balicer also said that 14 days or more after the second dose was administered, "we identify an even higher efficacy for the prevention of symptomatic and severe disease among those vaccinated at any age.
"We will soon be able to give an accurate estimate in this matter as well," he said.
“it is important to preserve the achievements of the vaccination effort in order to reach immunization in all age groups under the age of 60,” Balicer said.
The Health Ministry reported Sunday evening that 1,396 new coronavirus cases have been diagnosed the previous day. With 18,500 tests conducted, the contagion rate now stands at 7.6%.
There are currently 1,088 patients in serious condition, with 306 connected to ventilators. The death toll since the start of the pandemic stands at 5,378.
The ministry also said that more than 2.5 million Israelis have now received the second dose of the coronavirus inoculation.