Israeli Chief Doctor Concerned About Pfizer Efficacy Decrease
On Sunday, the media asked the Director-General of the Ministry of Health, Professor Nahman Esch, about the reason for the decline in the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine, observed in recent weeks.
According to the data of the Ministry of Health published two weeks ago, from January to May of this year, the effectiveness of vaccination, compared with its absence, was about 94-95 per cent. Between June 6 and July 3, vaccinated people had a 64 percent chance of avoiding infection compared to unvaccinated people. The likelihood of avoiding symptoms - that is, the disease itself, and not just a "latent infection" has dropped just as much.
Professor Ash confirmed that analysts observed a decline in the effectiveness of the vaccine. Several factors could be the reason. The most likely ones are the increased resistance of the "delta" strain to the current vaccines and the time passed since vaccination.
The "delta" strain is almost completely dominant in Israel now. It is impossible to compare its effectiveness against the other virus strains.
The immunity decreased the most in the oldest age-group
Data from the Ministry of Health show that since the beginning of the month, 79 patients aged 65+ who are in a serious condition have been added, of whom 71 were vaccinated (89%). In contrast, of the 36 severe patients who were less than 60 years old, only five were vaccinated (13%). And yet, at this point the epidemic team members - a body that advises the Ministry of Health - argue that it is not possible to determine unequivocally whether the decrease in vaccine effectiveness is due to the elapsed time or the aggressiveness of the Delta strain. And in the absence of studies that support the provision of a third dose, it is difficult to make decisions on the subject.
Based on this data, the government decided to strengthen the anti-pandemic measures on Sunday.
A stricter anti-pandemic policy
Following a debate convened by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on increasing enforcement of the virus directives, the government made four decisions: filing criminal indictments and prosecuting verified Wuhan virus patients who violate isolation; defining events and celebrations, with an emphasis on weddings, as a top task for enforcement.
There will be series of legal aspects of the operation of technological enforcement measures and the streamlining of enforcement procedures - with an emphasis on shortening the time gap between the imposition of a fine on violators of guidelines for its implementation.