Optimistic news from the course of vaccinations in Israel

The figures from Israel are optimistic, as they show that mass vaccination is likely to slow the spread of the coronavirus and, in addition, no vaccine-related deaths have been reported, says Elias Mosialos, professor of Health Policy at the School of Economics and Politics. (LSE), in a post on Facebook.

As he points out, “the news from Israel is important. “As we can see, although they vaccinated the vast majority of the vulnerable – most of whom are elderly – and several days have passed since the start of vaccinations, there have been no reports of deaths and high rates of side effects.”

Nearly two million people have been vaccinated or have already received at least the first dose. This represents about 22% of the population, almost 76% of citizens over the age of 60 and, in addition, more than 60% of vulnerable groups.

How to evaluate the effectiveness of the vaccine in Israel:

1. Cities with higher vaccination rates have fewer patients.

2. Two weeks after the vaccination of about 30% of citizens over the age of 60, there was a 25% decrease in the percentage of those who became seriously ill in this age group (the results are obtained from analyzes of the weekly average).

“We see that the efficiency is really high. We will soon know if we are transmitting the virus after vaccination. The systematic recording of data by the competent regulatory authorities is the basis of good epidemiological surveillance and gives us the opportunity to be optimistic “, Mr. Mosialos emphasizes.

“But there is no room for complacency and simple epidemiological analyzes,” he added. In a dynamic situation like the one unfolding in Israel, with a high prevalence of the virus in the community, and with simultaneous mass vaccination at such a rate, the results must be analyzed very carefully. That is, not only in terms of whether they go hand in hand with the effect of mass vaccination, but also in terms of whether they are due to fluctuations in the pandemic. And the fluctuations can be due to temporal, geographical or even population differentiation “.

But what evidence is there regarding infections or even hospitalizations among those who have received the first dose of the vaccine? The rate of infection among Israelis who received the first of the two doses of the vaccine dropped dramatically two weeks after they were vaccinated, according to initial figures from the Ministry of Health released on Tuesday (source: Haaretz newspaper).

Israel’s vaccination campaign began in late December, and for a large percentage of those who received the first dose, less than 15 to 22 days have passed. According to the data announced, after the first 1.7 million doses of vaccine:

• 4,484 people were diagnosed with coronavirus one to seven days after vaccination

• 3,186 people eight to 14 days from the respective date they were vaccinated

However, 15 to 22 days after the first dose of the vaccine, the number of people who became ill dropped to 353.

As for those who got stuck and were hospitalized: in total, since the start of the campaign, 375 of those who received the first dose were later diagnosed with coronavirus and hospitalized. From them:

• 244 were diagnosed one to seven days after vaccination

• 124 people between eight and 14 days after vaccination

• Seven people were diagnosed and hospitalized 15 or more days after vaccination

Regarding side effects after 1.7 million doses: a total of 1,217 side effects have been reported and no vaccine-related deaths have been reported. The most common side effects were general (such as headache, fever, nausea, and muscle aches), with some focusing on the vaccination site (such as local irritation, pain, and some limitation of hand mobility) and 92 being neurological or allergic in nature.

But were some people expected to get sick? First of all, notes Mr. Mosialos, more people get sick in the first days after the vaccination. The number drops after the first two weeks, because the vaccinated develop antibodies, and slowly the percentage of patients decreases significantly. This is both expected and consistent with efficacy data, as well as confidence intervals of vaccine efficacy after the first or second dose, as evidenced by clinical trials.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine report in the New England Journal of Medicine states that the effectiveness of the vaccine was 52.4% between the first and second doses (21 days apart).

During the phase III trial, most vaccine “failures” were in the days immediately following the first dose, suggesting that short-term protection begins around day 11. Looking at the overall data from day 15 to 21, the UK regulators (in the process of evaluating dose-switching between vaccines) estimated that the efficacy against symptomatic Covid-19 was approximately 89% (95% with a confidence interval of 52% to 97%). ). So the percentages seen in Israel are to be expected.

Source: Zougla.gr by www.zougla.gr.

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