Initial data from Israelis who have received the first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine shows a sharp drop in infection levels, according to media reports.
A study conducted by the Clalit HMO of 400,000 people found a 33 percent drop in infections 14 days after the first shot, which gives only partial protection, Channel 13 reports.
It appears to be the first time that the vaccine has been demonstrated to not only prevent Covid-19 symptoms—which had been seen in tests—but also to prevent infection, Ynet reported.
Prof. Ran Blitzer of Clalit stressed that this is “only the first data, but it’s encouraging.” He added that full protection has not been provided at this stage, and that all those who received shots should continue to follow Health Ministry guidelines, including wearing masks and keeping social distancing.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is administered in two doses, three weeks apart, with 94 percent effectiveness expected in about two weeks after the second shot.
In a separate study, the Maccabi health provider also found an even steeper drop—of 60 percent—in coronavirus infections from 13 days after the first dose, according to Channel 12. Those findings were also based on 400,000 people.