Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine has been less effective in preventing people from becoming infected with the Delta variant of the coronavirus in the country in recent weeks, the Israeli government has said. According to Bloomberg, data from the Israeli Ministry of Health showed that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine protected 64% of the country’s population against the virus between June 6 and early July, up from 94% previously. The drop was seen amid the emergence and increase in Delta variant cases in the country, the data revealed.
In addition, the increase in cases of the Delta variant also coincided with the lifting of restrictions due to the virus in early June in Israel, Bloomberg reported. However, government data has also shown that the Pfizer vaccine protects people from serious illness and hospitalization. The vaccine has been shown to be 93% effective in preventing people from being hospitalized, which is only slightly lower than the 97% found in a previous government study.
Pfizer Inc spokeswoman Dervila Keane declined to comment on the Israeli government’s findings, Bloomberg added. She focused on research showing the vaccine’s continued protection against new coronavirus mutations – although it has been slightly diminished in some cases. Keane told Bloomberg that the evidence so far indicates that the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine “will continue to protect against these variants.”
Although Israel has had one of the most effective vaccination campaigns in the world and administered vaccines to around 57% of its population, several of the new cases of the coronavirus are identified among these people, Ynet news services reported. . According to the website, last Friday 55% of newly infected citizens were inoculated with doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. In addition, as of July 4, the country had up to 35 severe cases of the virus compared to 21 on June 19.
According to the Bloomberg report, a statement from the Israeli prime minister’s office said the government planned to study vaccinated people who contracted Covid-19, including factors such as pre-existing conditions, dates of inoculation and age to assess how well the vaccine is working and how quickly it wears off.
The government is considering reinstating additional curbs after reinstating the mandate to wear masks indoors in public spaces. However, the Department of Health told Bloomberg that no decision has yet been made on recommending a third dose of vaccine for citizens.
Although Pfizer CEO Dr Albert Bourla has said people will likely need to receive a third vaccine within 12 months of being fully immunized, Bloomberg reported.
The development comes just a week after the Indian government said it would soon strike the deal with Pfizer to make it the fifth covid-19 vaccine available in the country. Notably, Moderna – the first international vaccine, received a green signal on June 29. Meanwhile, Dr Bourla recently said that an agreement with the Indian government was being finalized.
Towards the end of June, Reuters reported that Pfizer’s medical director in Israel, Alon Rappaport, told local broadcaster Army Radio that research conducted in the lab and in areas where the Delta variant replaced the UK Covid variant -19 as a “common variant” indicate that Pfizer’s vaccine is “very effective”, nearly 90% in preventing Covid-19.
The Delta variant was first identified in India and has now spread to at least 98 countries. A subtype of the variant, Delta Plus, has already been detected in more than 50 samples in the country. Recently, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the world was in a “very dangerous time” of a pandemic due to more communicable variants, like Delta, which is in rapidly becoming the dominant strain in several countries.