JERUSALEM, Israel – Preliminary data from Israel’s aggressive vaccination campaign reveals that the Pfizer vaccine has proven effective in preventing new coronavirus infections in the country.
Israel’s Maccabi Healthcare Services revealed on Monday that less than 0.01% of people who received two doses of the vaccine contracted the virus in the week after receiving their second shot.
The report showed that only 20 people out of 128,600 who received the Pfizer vaccine have been infected with the virus. Those who did contract the virus do not have serious cases.
"Maccabi reports that out of the 20 people infected, 50% suffer from chronic illnesses. All patients experienced a mild illness with symptoms including headaches, cough, weakness or fatigue. No-one was hospitalized or suffered from a fever above 38.5C. Most patients tested for COVID-19 due to exposure to a verified patient," the report said.
Maccabi called the data “very encouraging.”
Anat Ekka Zohar, Maccabi's Information and Digital Health Division director, said they will continue monitoring the group of infected patients “in order to examine if they continue to suffer from mild symptoms only and do not develop complications as a result of the virus.”
Maccabi shared earlier this month that it has seen a 60% drop in new infections three weeks after the first shot was administered.
Israel is a world leader in its rapid distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Health Ministry reports that 2.6 million people have already received the first dose, and 1.2 million have received their second dose.
There have been more than 606,300 cases in Israel since the pandemic began and over 4,400 deaths.
Israel is currently in its third lockdown, which is scheduled to end on Jan. 31.
However, the Health Ministry recommends extending the lockdown by another week due to the country’s consistently high infection rate. Under the current lockdown, all nonessential businesses are banned from operating and citizens are prohibited from venturing more than about a half of a mile away from their homes.
Government leaders also voted this week to halt all commercial flights to and from Ben Gurion Airport.
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