Every human life is precious and sacred and saving one is like saving the whole of humanity. (Al Quran 5:32/33)
By Linda Gradstein
JERUSALEM – In the first large-scale, controlled data outside clinical trials, the two-dose Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is showing 92 percent effectiveness, according to Israeli health officials. It’s good news for Pfizer, which says the vaccine also appears to work against the British mutation of COVID-19.
The Maccabi Health Fund studied 163,000 Israelis who had received two doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. Only 31 of them caught COVID-19 after they were fully vaccinated. In an equivalent sample of unvaccinated Israelis, almost 6,500 developed the disease.
The study shows the Pfizer vaccine had 92 percent effectiveness, which was close to the 95 percent Pfizer saw in clinical trials. Israeli infectious-disease experts said the study is good news and that the slight difference between the clinical trials and this current study is within the standard deviation.
Israel has become a real-time laboratory for the Pfizer vaccine, which is being widely distributed in the country through the public health funds. Israel bought the vaccine early, paying double the market price, according to media reports, and agreed to share all of its data with Pfizer. All Israelis belong to one of four health funds and all medical records are digitized.
So far, almost 3 million Israelis out of a total population of 9.3 million have received the first dose of the vaccine, and almost 1.5 million have received the second dose.