The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine has declined to 64 percent effectiveness in preventing delta variant infection in Israel, and the variant is continuing to spread across the nation, said the Health Ministry on July 5. As per the March Israeli published data, it showed 99 percent efficacy after the vaccination was provided in preventing symptomatic Covid-19. It also showed that 91.2 percent efficacy of the vaccine in preventing the infection.
The ministry added that the Pfizer vaccine is 93 percent effective in preventing severe symptoms and hospitalizations. The ministry refrained from the recommendation of administering a third vaccine dose. However, it called on all those who came in contact with the Covid-19 carrier, including the vaccinated people, to get tested for the coronavirus.
Doubts Regarding the Efficacy Rate of the Vaccine
The data was presented on July 4 by Health Ministry’s epidemiology team. But experts express doubt regarding the infection rates analysis in Israel, and the ministry’s team also questioned it. However, health sources believe that the efficacy of inoculation against the delta variant is way lower than it was initially assumed. The models used by the team of Health Ministry are doubted by the health professionals.
A health expert said that there are numerous methodological challenges in the assessment of the vaccine efficacy from the local outbreaks. The chief of the professional coronavirus cabinet Prof. Ran Balicer expressed that it is extremely difficult to analyze the vaccine efficacy rate when Covid-19 tests are performed selectively.
The model of Health Ministry was built on the assumption that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 80 percent effective against the delta variant, which is less than the alpha variant that came from the UK. The effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against the alpha variant is 90 percent. The main research findings of British health authorities show that the effectiveness of the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 88 percent against the delta variant and 93 percent effective for the alpha variant. However, the delta variant is two times more infectious compared to the original virus version. It is one and a half times more contagious than the alpha variant.
Israel had one of the most effective coronavirus inoculation drives in the world, and about 57 percent population is fully vaccinated. Several new cases among vaccinated people have increased. There were 35 critical coronavirus cases as of July 4. The government is planning to examine the vaccinated people who have contacted the coronavirus to evaluate the vaccine’s efficacy rate.