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75% to 94% Effective in Studies

Israel leads the word in the percentage of vaccinations administered so an Israeli Vaccination Study has a lot of scientific weight.

A single shot of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE is 85% effective in preventing symptomatic disease 15 to 28 days after being administered, an Israeli study found—news that could help guide policy makers setting vaccine priorities world-wide.

The Israeli study, conducted by the government-owned Sheba Medical Center and released Friday, also found a 75% reduction in all Covid-19 infections, symptomatic or asymptomatic, after the first shot. The peer-reviewed study was published in the British medical journal Lancet as a correspondence, meaning it represents the views of the authors and not the journal.

A table published in an online annex to the Sheba study showed 94% effectiveness in preventing symptomatic Covid-19, 22 to 28 days after the first shot. This result was similar to those from two previous analyses of the Pfizer vaccine that used clinical data submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Canadian researchers published a letter this week in the New England Journal of Medicine saying their analysis of the data submitted to the FDA found the vaccine was 92.6% effective two weeks after the first shot. 

Israel is the Global Vaccination Leader

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Israel leads the world in percentage of population vaccinated. Since it began its program Dec. 20, the country has administered the first shot to about 45% of its roughly nine million people and two shots about 30%, according the health ministry.

Israel aims to inoculate most of its population by March, a goal made possible after it paid a premium for early shipments from Pfizer and agreed to share data about its vaccine—from effectiveness to side effects.

For counties short on vaccine doses and for Covid-weary citizens this study is very welcome news.