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Israel downgrades efficacy of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine



Israel said the efficacy of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has dropped to just 64 percent, from 94 percent in May.

The disturbing news came amid the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the virus in the country..

According to the Times of Israel, the Health Ministry released data on Monday showing that the vaccine appears to largely prevent hospitalisation and serious cases.

The data also showed that the vaccine is significantly less effective against preventing the spread of the Delta variant.

The Delta variant, which is believed to be twice as contagious as the original strain of COVID-19, is thought to be responsible for 90% of new cases in Israel over the past two weeks.

The data, however, also shows that the vaccine is still highly effective against preventing serious symptoms and hospitalisation. During May, that figure stood at 98.2%, and during June, it was 93%.

On Monday evening, the Health Ministry said that 369 people had been diagnosed with coronavirus since midnight, bringing the total number of active cases in the country to 2,766.

Amid the rise in COVID cases across the country, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett along with Health Minister Nitzan Horowtiz instructed the Health Ministry on Monday to promote two medical studies on the need for a third vaccine shot against the coronavirus, which they said will provide decision-makers with “vital information.”

*Source Times of Israel

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