An Israeli study of more than 1 million people indicated Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine is highly effective against the virus.
Researchers from the Clalit Research Institute and Harvard University analyzed data from 596,618 people and found two doses of the vaccine preventing 94 percent of cases. The subjects were vaccinated Dec. 20-Feb. 1 and about 25 percent were over 60, according to the study, published in the British Medical Journal.
“This is the kind of vaccine that gives us hope that herd immunity may be possible,” Raina MacIntyre, a professor of biosecurity at the University of New South Wales in Sydney who wasn’t involved with the study, told Bloomberg. She said similar levels of efficacy as those seen in Israel would indicate vaccinating between 60 percent and 70 percent of a country’s population will give a country “the best chance of resuming normal life and opening up society.”
Israel has said it has vaccinated about half of its population.
The study, the biggest yet to examine the vaccine’s effectiveness outside of a randomized, blinded trial, also showed the shot was equally as effective for people 70 and older. Although there were indications it was less effective for people with three or more comorbidities, the data still indicated 89 percent protection for those subjects within a week of the second dose.
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