Together with the Israel Ministry of Health, Pfizer and BioNTech announced “real-world evidence” they say demonstrates that their COVID-19 vaccine “dramatically” lowers rates of the coronavirus in inoculated individuals. In a press release posted Thursday, the companies said that two weeks post-second dose, the vaccine was at least 97% effective in preventing symptomatic disease, severe/critical disease and death.
The analysis pulls on data collected from January 17 to March 6, a time in which the Pfizer and BioNTech two-dose jab was the only COVID-19 vaccine approved in Israel, and when the B.1.1.7 variant, which is believed to be of higher transmissibility, was the dominant strain in the country. In addition to being highly effective against symptomatic disease, the vaccine was also found to be 94% effective in preventing asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, according to the news release.
“We are extremely encouraged that the real-world effectiveness data coming from Israel are confirming the high efficacy demonstrated in our Phase 3 clinical trial and showing the significant impact of the vaccine in preventing severe disease and deaths due to COVID-19,” Luis Jodar, Ph.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer of Pfizer vaccines, said in the press release. “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. Altogether, these data are critical to understanding the role of vaccination in combatting the pandemic and provide hope to other countries dealing with this devastating disease, which has now afflicted the world for more than a year.”
The findings follow a similar study published last month by the Clalit Research Institute and several U.S. universities which found the vaccine reduced symptomatic COVID-19 cases by 94%. The peer-reviewed study showed consistency with the 95% vaccine efficacy first reported during clinical trials.
Fox News’ Kayla Rivas contributed to this report.