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Israel study on Pfizer vaccine indicates 94% drop in symptomatic COVID-19 cases: report

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A study by Israel’s largest healthcare provider on Sunday found that after participants received two doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, they saw a 94% drop in symptomatic COVID-19 infections, according to a report. 

Clalit, the health system that covers most Israelis, compared 600,000 people who received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine against a group of the same size who had matching medical histories and had not yet received the vaccine.

The study found that people in the group were also 92% less likely to develop severe illness from the virus after receiving both jabs, according to Reuters.

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Dry ice is poured into a box containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as it is prepared to be shipped at the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant in Portage, Mich., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

Dry ice is poured into a box containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as it is prepared to be shipped at the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant in Portage, Mich., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

The data nearly matched Pfizer’s Phase 3 clinical trial which showed the vaccine to be 95% effective.

“It shows unequivocally that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is extremely effective in the real world a week after the second dose, just as it was found to be in the clinical study,” said Ran Balicer, Clalit’s chief innovation officer.

Balicer added that the data shows the Pfizer vaccine, developed in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech, was even more effective “two weeks or more after the second shot,” the news organization reported.

Israel has been conducting a rapid vaccine rollout and leads all countries with roughly 70.5 vaccine doses per 100 people, according to Bloomberg’s COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker.

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Meanwhile, a sharp decline in hospitalization and serious illness was also reported for the first time in people aged 55 and older, said researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, who have been charting national data.

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As of early Monday, Israel has reported more than 727,485 total coronavirus infections and at least 5,403 deaths from the virus since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

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