A coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was shown to reduce symptomatic COVID-19 by 94%, according to new research conducted in Israel. The peer-reviewed results offer a first look at effectiveness under real-world conditions and were consistent with the high 95% vaccine efficacy reported during clinical trials.
The findings from the Clalit Research Institute and the contributing efforts of various American universities were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, coming from approximately 1.2 million people in Israel. Half of the group was vaccinated from December to February, and the other half was not, serving as a control group.
A peer-reviewed study from a nationwide immunization effort is important to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine under uncontrolled real-world conditions compared to clinical trials, and to take into account the difficulties in maintaining the cold chain, the vaccination schedule and vaccine implementation among many more people from diverse populations, including those with chronic diseases, the researchers wrote. People under the age of 16 were excluded, although Pfizer is currently conducting clinical trials in the 12-15 age group.
One week after two doses were administered, the team documented an 87% effectiveness in reducing hospitalizations, a 92% reduction in severe illness, and a 92% effectiveness for documented infection, compared to 14-20 days. after an initial dose to 74%, 62% and 46%, respectively.
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“This study in a nationwide mass vaccination setting suggests that the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine is effective for a wide range of Covid-19-related outcomes, a finding consistent with that of the randomized trial,” the study reads.
The findings also suggest that the vaccine provided the same degree of protection to adults over the age of 70 as it did to younger groups. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration previously said it was unable to evaluate the effectiveness of Pfizer’s vaccine in certain populations at high risk for severe COVID-19, such as immunosuppressed people or those who were previously infected with SARS. -CoV-2.
In a separate note, the researchers said the vaccine is likely to be effective against a variant of the coronavirus first detected in the UK, called B.1.1.7. While they were unable to specify the effectiveness of the vaccine against the variant, up to 80% of the samples in Israel had the variant before the data was collected, as the study authors wrote, “the plateau observed during subsequent periods in the cumulative incidence curve [on hospitalizations, deaths and more] for vaccinated people suggests that the BNT162b2 vaccine is also effective for this variant. “A separate variant first detected in South Africa was deemed” rare “during early vaccination efforts in Israel.
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Israel has been hailed for its rapid vaccination efforts and high uptake, with about a third of its population now fully vaccinated.
“These results reinforce the expectation that the newly approved vaccines may help mitigate the profound global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the study authors wrote.