Ray Balicer, the chief innovation officer of Clalit stated, “It shows unequivocally that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is extremely effective in the real world a week after the second dose, just as it was found to be in the clinical study.” Balicer noted that the vaccine became even more effective two or more weeks after the second dose is given.
These numbers coincide with Covid-19 data coming out of Israel. According to Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, the country has seen a decrease in hospitalizations due to Covid-19 in people ages 55 and older. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the younger Israeli population as hospital visits due to Covid-19 have continued to tick up.
This study comes on the heels of a similar study for the Moderna vaccine. A peer-reviewed report found the vaccine to be 94.1 percent effected from data gathered from a Phase 3 clinical trial that tested 30,420 adult volunteers.
These numbers are so promising that Dr Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia told The New York Times that the vaccines were “ridiculously encouraging” and that they were "essentially 100 percent effective against serious disease.”
To date, Covid-19 has contributed to 109 million cases worldwide and over 2.41 million deaths since it was discovered in China in late 2019. The virus shut down the world for most of 2020 with countries declaring “Stay at Home” orders and subsequential “lock-downs” throughout the year. The data from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines offer promising news and hope that the world will return to resemblance of normal in the near future.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases predicts that in April it will be “open season” on vaccine eligibility in the United States. This means that anyone regardless of age can receive the vaccine. Dr. Fauci goes on to say, “I would imagine, and in fact I’m fairly certain, that as we get into and towards the end of April we’ll see … pharmacies, community vaccine centers [and] mobile units really stepping up the pace of vaccination,” Fauci said.
Dr. Fauci predicted that we might even see herd immunity by the end of summer. Herd immunity occurs when approximately 70% of people in a given area are inoculated – thus giving the entire community immunity from a specific disease.
Many countries have already begun to distribute vaccines with the United States reporting 1.49 million vaccines a day. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.2% of the population has been fully inoculated with 11.5% of the population having received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Judging by the Pfizer and Moderna effective rate – the latter half of 2021 looks a lot more promising. Until then – masks up, social distance, and sanitize, sanitize, sanitize!