Israel said on Wednesday that a third dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was found to be 86 percent effective in people aged above 60 years. This conclusion was reached after going through initial results from studies conducted on certain number of elderly patients.
According to reports, the Israeli Health Maintenance Organization or HMO Maccabi, which covers around a quarter of the country’s 9.3 million population, studied results from 149,144 people over 60 years, who received their third dose at least a week ago, against those from 675,630 people who had received only two doses, between January and February.
Maccabi said in a statement that around 37 tested Covid positive after getting the third dose, in comparison to around 1,064 people after getting their second dose. Most of the people who tested positive came from the same demographic background, it added.
The HMO also did not provide any information about the severity of the positive cases and as to how they were doing.
Israel started administering the third Pfizer doses from July onwards after cases increased due to the Delta variant. Around 1.1 million eligible Israeli healthcare workers and others have received their third dose till now.
Commenting on the developments, Anat Ekka Zohar of Maccabi said, “The third dose has again proved its effectiveness and had demonstrated protection (against) the Delta variant. The triple dose is the solution to curbing the current infection outbreak.”
Vaccine maker Pfizer has said that its vaccine’s efficacy drops over time, and that a third dose has shown higher neutralizing antibodies against the first SARS-CoV-2 virus, the Beta and the highly contagious Delta variants.
The United States and several European countries are considering giving boosters to the elderly and people with weak immune systems, and some countries even plan to make the third dose more accessible.
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