Source: https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel...-vaccine-shot/

Outbreak at record levels; 52 deaths confirmed since morning
Initial Israeli data: First Pfizer shot curbs infections by 50% after 14 days
Studies of hundreds of thousands of Israeli vaccinees provide real-life info on efficacy; but health official also warns 17% of current serious cases had already gotten 1st shot
By TOI staff 12 January 2021, 10:31 pm 1

Initial data from Israel’s vaccination campaign shows that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine curbs infections by some 50 percent 14 days after the first of two shots is administered, a top Health Ministry official said Tuesday, as the country’s serious COVID-19 cases, daily infections and total active cases all reach all-time peaks.

Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of the Health Ministry’s public health department, told Channel 12 News that the data was preliminary, and based on the results of coronavirus tests among both those who’ve received the vaccine and those who haven’t.

Other, somewhat contrary data was released by Israeli health maintenance organizations Tuesday evening. Channel 13 News said that according to figures released by Clalit, Israel’s largest health provider, the chance of a person being infected with the coronavirus dropped by 33% 14 days after they were vaccinated. Separate figures recorded by the Maccabi health provider and aired by Channel 12 showed the vaccine caused a 60% drop in the chances for infection 14 days after taking the first shot.

Each of the HMOs compiled the data from some 400,000 patients they treated (800,000 in total).

The cause for the discrepancy between the studies was not immediately clear.

With Pfizer’s phase 3 trials only checking some 40,000 people, and given Israel’s world-leading vaccination campaign, the data could be some of the best on-the-ground indication yet of the vaccine’s efficacy.

Regardless, the vaccine is only expected to reach full protection potential a week after the administration of the second dose of the vaccine, which began in Israel this week. The second dose is expected to bring immunity levels to some 95% after about a week.

Alroy-Preis stressed that the data wasn’t enough to conclude that the vaccine prevents transmission of the virus altogether, since it is believed that one can spread the virus to others for a limited amount of time if it is located in their nasal cavity, even if it hasn’t infected the body to a level that would yield a positive test result.

Earlier, Alroy-Preis said that nearly one-fifth of over 1,000 current serious COVID-19 patients had previously received the first dose of Pfizer’s vaccine — stressing the need to continue to protect oneself after receiving the shot.

“Seventeen percent of the new serious cases today, or 180 cases, are after the first dose,” she told reporters...