Donnelly welcomes study showing 94% drop in symptomatic Covid cases with vaccine

Donnelly Welcomes Study Showing 94% Drop In Symptomatic Covid Cases With Vaccine
The group was also 92 per cent less likely to develop severe illness from the virus. Photo: Getty Images.
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By Reuters

The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has welcomed new research finding a 94 per cent drop in symptomatic Covid-19 cases in people who have received two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Israel's largest healthcare provider announced the drop among 600,000 people on Sunday, in the country's biggest study to date.

Health maintenance organisation (HMO) Clalit, which covers more than half of all Israelis, said the same group was also 92 per cent less likely to develop severe illness from the virus.

Mr Donnelly welcomed the findings in a tweet, saying the results were "great news".

The study’s findings were made through comparison against another group of 600,000 people, with matching medical histories, who had not received the vaccine.


“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.

He added that the data indicates the Pfizer vaccine, which was developed in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech, is even more effective two weeks or more after the second shot.

Herd immunity

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, who have been tabulating national data, said on Sunday that a sharp decline in hospitalisation and serious illness identified earlier among the first age group to be vaccinated - aged 60 or older - was seen for the first time in those aged 55 and older.

Hospitalisations and serious illness were still rising in younger groups who began vaccinations weeks later.

Israel has been conducting a rapid vaccine rollout and its database offers insights into vaccine effectiveness and at what point countries might attain herd immunity.

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