The incidence of COVID-19 disease was found to be substantially lower in individuals fully vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2, according to real-world data reported from the Israel Ministry of Health (MoH).

The latest analysis used de-identified aggregate Israel MoH surveillance data collected from January 17, 2021 and March 6, 2021. The start of the analysis corresponded to 7 days after individuals began receiving the second dose of the vaccine. The analysis was conducted when more than 80% of tested specimens in Israel were variant B.1.1.7 (UK variant).

Findings demonstrated that 2 weeks after the second dose, the vaccine was at least 97% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, severe and critical hospitalizations, and deaths. Additionally, the vaccine was found to be 94% effective against asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections. These estimates align with those previously reported in the randomized clinical trial of BNT162b2 (95% vaccine efficacy).

“The findings which suggest that the vaccine may also provide protection against asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections are particularly meaningful as we look to disrupt the spread of the virus around the globe,” said Luis Jodar, PhD, Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer Vaccines.


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While vaccine effectiveness estimates were adjusted to account for variances in age, gender, and the week specimens were collected, the investigators noted that additional studies should be considered to assess covariates such as location, comorbidities, race/ethnicity and likelihood of seeing SARS-CoV-2 testing. 

Reference

Real-world evidence confirms high effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and profound public health impact of vaccination one year after pandemic declared. [press release]. Jerusalem, Israel and New York, NY and Mainz, Germany: Israel Ministry of Health, Pfizer Inc., BioNTech SE; March 11, 2021. 

This article originally appeared on MPR