The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. was just 39% effective in preventing people from getting infected by the contagious Delta variant in Israel, according to the country's health ministry. However, it provided a strong shield against hospitalisation and more severe forms of the virus, showed the recent study.
According to a report on Thursday from the health ministry, the vaccine provided 88% protection against hospitalisation and 91.4% against severe illness for an unspecified number of people studied between the period of June 20 and July 17.
The report added that the data could be skewed due to the different ways of testing vaccinated groups of people versus those who had not been inoculated.
First detected in India, the Delta variant is contagiously spreading around the world. Governments are racing to inoculate their population as the virus has also infected even those already fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The mutation has also forced some countries to delay or rethink plans to ease restrictions on businesses, activities and travel.
Israel has had one of the world's most effective inoculation drives, with 57% of the population fully vaccinated. However, it has seen a recent surge in infections due to the delta strain. Critical cases have had a steep rise but remain a fraction of the peak earlier this year.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has urged people to get inoculated, calling it the most effective way to fight the Delta strain. The government has also reinstated certain restrictions for indoor events and plans to ban flights to several countries with rising infection rates, including the UK and Cyprus.
(Edited by Rupashree Ravi)
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