Thursday, August 12, 2021

Pfizer vaccine efficacy drops below 40% in Israel

Israel says Pfizer Covid vaccine is just 39% effective as delta spreads, but still prevents severe illness | CNBC - Berkeley Lovelace, Jr.:

July 23, 2021 - "Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine is just 39% effective in Israel where the delta variant is the dominant strain, but still provides strong protection against severe illness and hospitalization, according to a new report from the country’s Health Ministry. The efficacy figure, which is based on an unspecified number of people between June 20 and July 17, is down from an earlier estimate of 64% two weeks ago....

"However, the two-dose vaccine still works very well in preventing people from getting seriously sick, demonstrating 88% effectiveness against hospitalization [down from 93% two weeks ago - gd] and 91% effectiveness against severe illness, according to the Israeli data published Thursday. 

"'We have to be mindful that, with time, the effectiveness of these vaccines may wane,' said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease professor at the University of Toronto. He stressed that the shots are still highly effective in preventing severe infection, helping hospital systems not get too overwhelmed heading into the colder months. That being said, 'we’re still in the Covid era and anything can happen,' he said. 'We have to be prepared and we have to be nimble that people may need a booster at some point,' he added.... 

"The delta variant, already in more than 104 countries, is concerning health officials in the U.S. as they see more breakthrough infections, which occur in fully vaccinated people, even though they are more mild."

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Health officials predict thousands of seriously ill COVID patients within month | Times of Israel:

August 11, 2021 - "Israeli hospitals have to prepare for an influx of nearly 5,000 coronavirus patients within weeks, half of whom will need acute care to deal with severe bouts of COVID-19, health officials have warned Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, according to reports Wednesday. The dire predictions came during a Tuesday meeting between Bennett and senior health experts ... prompting the premier to back a plan to expand hospital capacity, a signal that the government will look to absorb the crush of severe cases head-on rather than attempt to swerve out of its way.

"Senior Health Ministry officials and other experts presented Bennett with data forecasting some 4,800 coronavirus patients requiring hospitalization by September 10. The experts expect half of the patients to be seriously ill, putting a major strain on Israel’s health system, according to Hebrew-language media reports on the closed-door meeting.

"Israel has seen new case numbers skyrocket in recent weeks from a few dozen a day to over 6,000 on Monday. Another 5,755 were diagnosed on Tuesday, the Health Ministry said Wednesday morning, bringing the number of active cases to 38,942. Ministry numbers showed 694 patients hospitalized as of Wednesday morning, 400 of whom were listed in serious condition."

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