Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine may curb transmission, decrease symptomatic coronavirus cases, Israeli research shows

Link: https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2021-02-19/covid-19-pfizer-biontech-vaccine-viral-load-drops-first-dose/13156116

Excerpt:

Israeli researchers have found that having just one shot of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine may lead to lower viral loads, making it harder to transmit COVID-19 if someone becomes infected after the first dose.

And it’s not the only positive research about the Pfizer jab to come out of Israel recently.

A separate independent Israeli study, from the country’s largest healthcare provider Clalit, found a 94 per cent drop in symptomatic COVID-19 infections among 600,000 people who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Researchers also found the fully inoculated group was 92 per cent less likely to develop severe illness from the virus.

Author(s): Lauren Roberts

Publication Date: 18 February 2021

Publication Site: Australian Broadcasting Commission News

Israel provides first signs of mass vaccination driving down virus cases

Link: https://www.ft.com/content/0cdc8563-1e6d-4089-bedb-b0f675c0d683

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Excerpt:

Cases and hospital admissions in Israel are falling steeply among vaccinated age groups in the first clear sign worldwide that Covid-19 jabs are preventing illness following a mass inoculation campaign.

Daily case rates among people aged 60 and above have fallen by 46 per cent relative to their mid-January peak, compared with a much smaller decline of 18 per cent among under-60s, according to analysis by a team from the Weizmann Institute of Science near Tel Aviv.

Author(s): John Burn-Murdoch in London and Mehul Srivastava

Publication Date: 5 February 2021

Publication Site: Financial Times

Israel’s vaccine programme gives hope to the world

Link: https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2021/02/03/israels-vaccine-programme-gives-hope-to-the-world

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Excerpt:

OVER ONE-THIRD of Israel’s population has received a vaccination against covid-19 since December 19th. Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, has campaigned heavily for vaccinations, personally lobbying the boss of Pfizer, an American drugmaker, to secure early shipments of its vaccine. He was the first Israeli to be jabbed, live on television. He promised that “Israel will be the first country in the world” to emerge from the pandemic—by the end of March. (Conveniently, this is when Israel will be holding a parliamentary election and Mr Netanyahu believes success will boost his Likud party.) This was a bold claim considering nobody was sure that vaccines would successfully lower infection rates by enough to lift lockdown restrictions.

There is now evidence that the vaccination programme is having an impact. Analysis from Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, and his colleagues, has found that covid-19 cases are falling appreciably among old people in Israel. The effect is especially pronounced in hospital admissions: among people aged over 60 severe hospital cases have fallen by 26% since their peak on January 19th (see chart). In contrast, among those between 40 and 59—a group further back in the queue to be vaccinated—such severe cases have increased by 13%.

Publication Date: 3 February 2021

Publication Site: The Economist

Covid: Israel’s vaccine rollout linked to infection fall

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-55706855

Excerpt:

Israel’s vaccination programme is showing signs of working to drive down infections and illness in the over-60s.

The fall appears to be most pronounced in older people and areas furthest ahead in their immunisation efforts.

This suggests it is the vaccine, and not just the country’s current lockdown, taking effect.

Israeli Ministry of Health (MoH) figures show 531 over-60s, out of almost 750,000 fully vaccinated, tested positive for coronavirus (0.07%).

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Author: Rachel Schraer

Publication Date: 1 February 2021

Publication Site: BBC News