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Israeli study shows Pfizer vaccine is 85% effective after first dose

The study also observed efficacy in asymptomatic patients.

Image: PA Images

A NEW STUDY from Israel has concluded that the Pfizer/BionTech vaccine is up to 85% effective after the first dose. 

The research, conducted by the Sheba Medical Centre, the country’s largest hospital, has been published in the Lancet medical journal.

According to the study, the hospital assessed the efficacy of the first dose among 7,214 of its healthcare workers who each received their first dose in January. 

The study observed an 85% reduction of clinical – symptomatic – Covid-19 between 15 and 28 days after the first jab. 

The study also observed efficacy in asymptomatic patients.

The study found that all infections, including asymptomatic, were reduced by 75% after the first dose.

It comes after the HSE said yesterday it had administered 284,310 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. 

Up to 15 February, Ireland received 350,310 vaccine doses in total, with 280,581 of those administered. Ireland is due to receive a further 403,428 doses from AztraZeneca before the end of March.

The HSE said the AstraZeneca vaccine is likely to be used for the 65-69 age cohort when the vaccine rollout moves into that fifth phase.

The rollout of the vaccination to those aged over 85 started this week, with 66 people in that cohort receiving their first dose on Monday. The HSE has said over 4,000 of the 85+ age group were vaccinated up to close of business yesterday.

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Only the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being used for those aged over 70 in the current phase of the rollout after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) stated there was insufficient evidence about efficacy in those aged over 55.

However he EMA still recommended its use in all adults, including those over 70.

Ireland’s National Immunisation Advisory Committee issued guidance stating that the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines should be used for those aged over 70, where possible.

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