Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The fundamental question about the vaccine: Vaccines no longer spread the virus, data from Israel suggest


The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, which was launched in Israel as part of the national immunization program on December 20, has an effectiveness of 89.4 percent in preventing laboratory-confirmed covid-19. This is stated in the draft of the manufacturers’ report, a copy of which appeared on Twitter, writes Bloomberg. However, the material has not yet been subjected to opposition, and according to the agency, some experts question the effectiveness.

The two companies behind the vaccine are working with the Israeli Ministry of Health to analyze the preliminary results.

According to preliminary laboratory tests, the vaccine should prevent asymptomatic people from spreading covid-19. This is a question that is absolutely crucial in estimating the further development of the pandemic, because there is still a variant in the game that the vaccinated person does not become ill with covid-19 after contact with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, but the virus can spread over the mucous membranes for some time. .

Experts are waiting for data confirmation

The problem with the study, however, is that it does not directly address the restriction of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, as it uses data from the national registry and does not take into account the different proportion of positive test between vaccinated and non-vaccinated.

“The result overestimates the reduction in transmission of the Pfizer vaccine. I think the actual reduction in transmission is lower than the estimated 89.4 percent. How much lower? We need more evidence to know for sure. But even so, I expect to find that the vaccine reduces transmission. And that would be very good news, “said Professor Zoe McLaren of the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Despite the reservations of some experts, the data are promising, said Professor Raina MacIntyre of the University of New South Wales in Sydney. “We needed this data to estimate the possible achievement of collective immunity during vaccination. However, we need the data to be published in a journal, where they will be subject to opposition, so that we can examine them in detail, “said the scientist.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they are working to analyze data from Israel, which they will share once it is complete and processed. The spokesman declined to comment on the incomplete data.

If 89.4 percent efficacy is confirmed, this means that the vaccine will be effective in eliminating covid-19 with sufficient vaccination of the population, according to vaccine scientist Helen Petousis-Harris of Auckladn.

Already on Saturday, Israeli authorities said that vaccination is preventing death from virus infection with 90% effectiveness. Almost half of Israel’s population of ten million has already received at least one benefit.



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