Israeli data shows third vaccination dose is highly effective as PM gets booster shot

Maccabi health care follow-up report on booster shots shows encouraging findings.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

An Israeli health care provider reported on Wednesday that a third dose of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine administered to people 60 and older was 86 percent effective.

“The vaccine has again proved its effectiveness,” said Dr. Anat Ekka Zohar, who led the study. “It has also demonstrated protection against the Delta variant. The triple dose is the solution to curbing the current outbreak.”

Maccabi compared the results of 149,144 people who were received their third shot at least one week ago against 676,630 people who had received only two doses in January and February. The HMO matched the groups for age, gender, socioeconomic status and population group.

It found that 37 people tested positive for COVID after their third shot, while among the people who didn’t receive a booster shot, 1,064 tested positive.

Studies indicate that the Pfize vaccine’s effectiveness after two shots wanes over time.

According to Health Ministry figures, more than 5.8 million Israelis have received one vaccination, 5.4 million have received two vaccinations, and 1.2 million have received a third shot. Israelis must have received their second shot at least five months ago to be eligible for the booster.

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On Thursday, the government approved expanding the booster campaign to people in their 40s. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who is 49, was given his third shot on Friday morning.

“You can protect yourselves, your livelihoods, our economy, our security, our kids’ health. We can beat Delta, but it’s up to all of our cooperation,” the Prime Minister said.

Bennett stressed that Israel will “share all the data, all the information, all the insights in this pioneering [effort]. I’m happy to hear that many other countries are following suit, because, at the end of the day, this is a global war on COVID and we’ve got to win.”