How effective is the vaccine’s 2nd dose? Israel releases data

The numbers are better than Pfizer’s test results.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

The newest data from Israel’s Ministry of Health shows that 473 people above the age of 60 fell ill after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine out of 668,100, a rate of 0.066%.

The result beats the already high 95% effectiveness rate reported by Pfizer and is in line with earlier (Thursday) results released by the Health Ministry of 0.04%.

Israel is receiving lots of vaccines after cutting a deal with Pfizer to share all its data with the pharmaceutical giant. The agreement is working out for Israel as 3,005,382 of its citizens have received the first dose and 1,728,625 the second dose of the vaccine.

Israel leads the world in vaccinating its population (34.3%). UAE is second with 29% and third is Britain, 12.3%.

The country nevertheless is struggling to control the spread of the disease. The Knesset is meeting on Monday to vote on raising fines for corona violations and to extending the current lockdown. Both are likely to pass.

The fast spread of the disease despite a tight lockdown is said to be due to the mutations of the disease, particularly the UK variant. Over the weekend, five more cases of the South African variant were discovered in Israel. A senior Israeli health official said it may be more resistant to the vaccine. “There is some preliminary evidence to say that the effectiveness of the vaccine may be somewhat lower with the South African variant,” she said.

Addressing the Davos World Economic Forum on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We’re in an arms race… it’s a race between mutation and vaccination.”

The third wave of coronavirus in Israel has also seen a higher proportion of serious cases. There are reports of pregnant women having complications with childbirth. At least two babies have died.

The police have also struggled with the haredi population, which is resisting lockdown regulations, leading to clashes. Just on Sunday, thousands of haredim gathered at a prominent rabbi’s funeral in violation of the lockdown.