Israel’s virus czar says 1st dose less effective than Pfizer indicated — report | The Times of Israel

Nachman Ash reportedly says it’s not certain vaccines can protect against mutated coronavirus strains; 12,400 Israelis were infected with virus after receiving 1st shot

Israel’s coronavirus czar Nachman Ash has reportedly said the first dose of Pfizer’s vaccine provides less protection against COVID-19 than the US pharmaceutical firm had initially indicated it would, and cautioned that it may not protect against new strains of the virus.

During talks among Health Ministry officials ahead of Tuesday’s cabinet meeting on the possibility of extending the nationwide lockdown, Ash questioned the effectiveness of the vaccine after just one dose, Army Radio reported Tuesday afternoon.

Many people have gotten infected between the first and second Pfizer shots, Ash was quoted saying, and it appears that the protection offered by the first dose is “less effective than we had thought.” The data on the protective effect against the virus of the first dose is “lower than Pfizer presented,” he was quoted saying.

According to the Health Ministry, over 12,400 have people tested positive for coronavirus after receiving vaccine shots; this figure includes 69 people who have received the second dose.

Pfizer says its vaccine, produced with BioNTech, is around 52% effective after the first dose, and increases to about 95% a number of days after the second dose.

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