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Pfizer Betters Potency, Its Vaccine Now 97% Effective Against Symptomatic Covid-19: Study

Representative image.

Representative image.

An earlier study had shown effectiveness at preventing symptomatic disease at 94 per cent and asymptomatic illness at 92 per cent.

Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine offers more protection than earlier thought with effectiveness in preventing symptomatic disease reaching 97 per cent, 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 per cent.

An earlier real-world study using data from between December 20, 2020, and February 1 had shown effectiveness at preventing symptomatic disease at 94 per cent and asymptomatic illness at 92 per cent.

“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 per cent 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 nine million people.

More than five 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 hospitalised cases due to COVID-19,” said Israel’s Ministry of Health director Yeheskel Levy.

first published:March 11, 2021, 18:06 IST