BERLIN (AFP) — Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine offers more protection than earlier thought with effectiveness in preventing symptomatic disease reaching 97%, according to real-world evidence published Thursday by the pharmaceutical companies.
Using data from January 17 to March 6 from Israel’s national vaccination campaign, Pfizer/BioNTech found that prevention against asymptomatic disease also reached 94%.
An earlier real-world study using data from between December 20, 2020, and February 1, 2021, had showed effectiveness at preventing symptomatic disease at 94% and asymptomatic illness at 92%.
“This comprehensive real-world evidence … can be of importance to countries around the world as they advance their own vaccination campaigns one year after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic,” the two pharmaceutical companies said in a statement.
Israel’s inoculation campaign is the fastest in the world, with about 40% of the population already fully vaccinated against the virus.
Israel, which launched its vaccination campaign in December, has given the recommended two jabs of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to just under four million of its roughly 9 million people.
More than 5 million have received one shot.
“Incidence rates in the fully vaccinated population have massively dropped compared to the unvaccinated population, showing a marked decline in hospitalized cases due to Covid-19,” said Israel’s Ministry of Health director Yeheskel Levy.
© Agence France-Presse