Pfizer vaccine found highly effective at preventing infection in real-world study

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FILE – In this Jan. 18, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 is prepared at a vaccination center of the 3rd district, in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

(NEXSTAR) – A real-world study out of Israel has confirmed the effectiveness of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the drug maker announced Thursday.

The study provides “the most comprehensive real-world evidence to date” of the efficacy of the vaccine. Importantly, it found that the Pfizer vaccine was at least 97-percent effective in preventing symptomatic disease, critical disease and death.

Similarly, the study found the vaccine to be 94-percent effective at preventing asymptomatic COVID infections, suggesting the vaccine may help stop transmission of the virus.

All outcomes were measured two weeks after the second dose.

“Incidence rates in the fully vaccinated population have massively dropped compared to the unvaccinated population, showing a marked decline in hospitalized cases due to COVID-19,” said Professor Yeheskel Levy, Israel Ministry of Health Director, in a statement.

“This clearly demonstrates the power of the COVID-19 vaccine to fight this virus and encourages us to continue even more intensively with our vaccination campaign. We aim to achieve even higher uptake in people of all ages, which gives us hope of regaining normal economic and social function in the not so distant future.”

In January, Pfizer and the Israel Ministry of Health joined forces to monitor the real-world impact of the Pfizer vaccine.

Israel has been one of the countries leading the charge to get its citizens vaccinated quickly. As of Thursday, 54.5 percent of Israelis had received the first dose of the COVID vaccine, and 43 percent the second dose.

That’s compared to about 10 percent of Americans who have received both doses.

Globally, more than 118 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Over 2.6 million people have died from the virus.

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