Israel’s Virus Czar says the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine offers less protection against COVID-19 than the drugmaker originally claimed
Before the rollout of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine, the pharmaceutical giant claimed that its trials showed the vaccine to be roughly 52 percent effective around 12 days after receiving the first shot. The drugmaker also added that the level of protection then rises to 95 percent around two weeks after the second dose.
Now, it turns out that may not be the case. Today, Israel’s equivalent of Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Nachman Ash, is casting doubt on Pfizer’s claims saying that the first dose of the vaccine is less effective than Pfizer data shows.
In an interview with Army Radio, Prof. Ash, formerly the IDF Chief Medical Officer, said the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine offers less protection against COVID-19 than US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer originally claimed, Israel’s coronavirus czar told Hebrew media on Tuesday.
“Many people have been infected between the first and second injections of the vaccine,” Ash said, adding that the protective effect appears “lower than [the data] presented by Pfizer.”
To date, a total of 2,185,289 people have received the first dose of the vaccine to date, and 423,123 have received both doses, according to the health ministry. It’s unclear exactly how effective the shot has been for the more than 2 million Israelis who have already received the first dose.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) also released a new set of tightened guidelines and diagnostic criteria for detecting COVID-19. According to WHO, PCR positive no longer means you have COVID-19. You need a second test to confirm you have the virus.
In addition to the efficacy of the mRNA vaccine, Pfizer has a lot of other challenges to worry about. Late last year, ScienceMag reported that there were suspicions that nanoparticles in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine triggered rare allergic reactions. The news was rarely covered in major mainstream media outlets.
However, the suspicion came true after the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that 3,150 people had life-threatening reactions after taking the Pfizer vaccine. The findings were published in an 8-page report available on the CDC website.
Scientists are now calling for the suspension of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine among the elderly following the deaths of 23 people in Norway. As of January 16, 55 people in the United States have died after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, according to reports submitted to a federal system.