Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine less effective against Delta infections, but still prevents serious illness, says Israeli study
TEL AVIV – Data from Israel suggests that Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine has become less effective at preventing Covid-19 infection in recent weeks, although it remains a strong bulwark against serious illness as governments in the around the world scramble to respond to the rampant spread of a new Delta variant of the coronavirus
The results, which are preliminary and based on a small sample, suggest that after two injections, the vaccine protected 39% of people against infection and 40% against symptomatic illnesses during a period when the Delta variant dominated. cases in Israel, according to the country’s health ministry. Ministry. The vaccine was 91% effective in preventing serious illness during the same period between June 20 and July 17, the ministry said.
“It is important to say that in terms of protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death, the Pfizer vaccine is still very, very effective,” said Nadav Davidovich, member of the Israeli government expert advisory group on the coronavirus. “We still don’t know if the reduction in efficiency is due to the passage of time or [a] question of the variant.
Mr Davidovitch said the data was based on hundreds of cases and should only be considered preliminary.
Pfizer said the company and its partner BioNTech SE are confident in the protection and safety of the two-dose vaccine, which it says prevents serious illness and hospitalizations. Two doses continue “to be very effective in preventing Covid-19, including variants, and to date no variant, including Delta, appears to have escaped the protection of the vaccine,” Pfizer said.