The Pfizer vaccine proved to be less effective in keeping people from getting infected in recent weeks in Israel. The vaccine had shown efficacy of 94 per cent previously but between June 6 and early July, it showed 64 per cent efficacy. The Israel health ministry said that the drop was observed at the Delta variant spread across the country. The spread also coincided with the lifting of restrictions in the country. However, the Pfizer vaccine continues to provide strong protection against severe COVID-19, according to government data.
Despite increased infections, the government data also showed that the Pfizer shot protects people from severe illness. Its effectiveness at preventing hospitalisation fell from 97 per cent in an earlier government study to 93 per cent.
Pfizer spokeswoman Dervila Keane pointed to research showing the vaccine’s continued protection against new variants -- albeit in slightly reduced capacity in some variants. She said that the evidence shows that Pfizer vaccine will continue to protect against these variants.
The Delta variant first found in India is spreading across the globe rapidly. This variant has led many governments to extend their curbs on travel and business.
In Israel, many new COVID-19 cases were found in vaccinated people. According to Ynet news service, 55 per cent of the infected found last Friday were vaccinated. The government now plans to study vaccinated individuals who contracted the virus. Additional restrictions are likely in the country.
Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said that a third dose might be likely within 12 months of being fully vaccinated.