Our post today aims to inform you that Israel’s mass vaccination campaign is having important effects. The country started vaccinating its population at the end of December last year. In just over a month, it has seen a more visible drop in the effects of covid-19 in the age group above 60 years.
The country has a population of 9 million and has already distributed 5 million doses of the vaccine. Currently, about 1 million people have received the second dose. Israel’s vaccine plan managed to vaccinate more than 72% of elderly people over 62 in mid-January of this year.
The results observed through the numbers
According to data from the Ministry of Health, from the people over the age of 60, only 531 of the nearly 750,000 vaccinees in this age group had a positive diagnosis for coronavirus, however, having mild symptoms. A very small number of people – 38 – have been hospitalized with moderate, severe, or critical symptoms.
The agency also found only three deaths of people over the age of 60. Thus, the ministry’s data appears to indicate that infections dropped consistently from 14 days onwards after receiving the first dose.
What to expect from the delayed dose strategy?
The evaluation of the impacts of the second dose on the treatment of covid-19 is still uncertain. There is no reliable evidence that the second moment of vaccination has the same consequences as the first. What scientists know is that the first dose takes longer to show its effects. This because of the contact of the immune system with the virus.
Scientific research still cannot say whether vaccines to fight coronavirus completely prevent its transport and transmission. That is why, despite having received the vaccine, the general orientation is to use a mask and to maintain social distance.
The impact of lockdown in reducing cases
Scientific institutions in Israel have analyzed whether the observed effects of infection drops are due to the vaccine and not just the adoption of the lockdown collectively. They analyzed the data regarding age and city.
The analysis identified relative changes after the mass vaccination not seen in previous lockdowns. There were significant drops in infections and hospitalizations in older people who were vaccinated earlier. The same occured in cities that had had a significant vaccination in advance. The analysts estimate that the vaccine’s effectiveness was 92% in the population, a figure close to the 95% from a clinical study of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.