Yes, you read that right!
Finally, we see the light at the end of the tunnel, of this dark and dreary hole that the pandemic has hurled us into.
A real-world study done in Israel has given even more credibility to the efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
This is the world’s first peer-reviewed real-world research that established the ability of mass immunisation campaigns to attempt to put an end to the pandemic.
The study in Israel involved 1.2 million people aged 16 and over—600,000 who had been vaccinated and 600,000 who hadn’t.
According to The Straits Times, the experiment was carried out from 20 Dec 2020 to 1 Feb 2021.
Even with the British variant of the virus being imported into Israel, the vaccine was able to remain effective against the new strain. Thus its performance was dubbed as extremely impressive.
The study was conducted by Clalit Research Institute alongside experts from Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital. The results of the study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine today (25 Feb).
For every vaccinated person, they were matched to an unvaccinated “control” person with as similar characteristics to them as possible.
The extremely comprehensive matching system uses age, sex, geographical location and even medical conditions.
The researchers then recorded outcomes at days 14 to 20 after the first dose of the vaccine and day 7 onwards after the second dose.
Initially, the efficacy of the vaccine in the 14 to 20 days after the first dose was rather low—a mere 57%. However, a week after the second dose, the rate went up to 94%.
In fact, this article by The New York Times states that the results of the study reflect those of the clinical trials, in which a 95% efficacy rate was recorded.
Vice president and chief scientific order of viral vaccines at Pfizer, Dr Phil R. Dormitzer, mentioned in an interview, “[You’re] never quite sure, after a controlled trial, will it really look like this in the real world? So that’s some good news.”
In addition to its incredible efficacy, receiving the second dosage of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine also gives additional protection against hospitalisation and death. It also lowers the chance of getting any infection at all to just 8%, in comparison to those who were unvaccinated.
Despite all the good news, researchers and outside experts caution that more confirming evidence is needed.
There might have been some missed infections as participants were not tested at regular intervals. Instead, they were tested as and when they wanted to take one.
“Nailing down this number more precisely will require specialised study designs with frequent testing,” noted biostatistician Natalie Dean.
Well, no matter what, this is a big step forward for all of us.
Singapore’s COVID-19 Vaccines
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was the first one to be approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA). So indeed, it is a big relief for all of us to have the credibility of this particular vaccine reconfirmed once more.
But if reading about vaccinations is your thing, click here to find out more about Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Feature Image: Siraj Ahmad / Shutterstock.com