New study shows vaccine efficacy in preventing serious illness

Study shows vaccine gives between 2 and 8 times more protection from serious case of Covid-19.

Orly Harari ,

Vaccine phials
Vaccine phials
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The Health Ministry has conducted a comparative study of data from January, 2021 until July, 2021, paying particular attention to serious coronavirus cases. From the study, it emerges that people with comorbidities who have been vaccinated are more protected against serious illness than people without comorbidities who have not been vaccinated, in a comparison between people of the same age divided into various groups of those over the age of 40.

In the 40-49 age group, the study found that vaccinated people without comorbidities had a 0.3% rate of serious illness (7 out of 2,605). The comparable figure for those who were not vaccinated without comorbidities was 1.7% (544 out of 31,568).

For those vaccinated who have comorbidities, 1.3% developed serious illness (5 out of 389). Non-vaccinated with comorbidities had a 4% rate of serious illness (155 out of 3,916 people).

In the 70-79 age group, the study found that vaccinated people without comorbidities had a 5.7% rate of serious illness (41 out of 725). The comparable figure for those who were not vaccinated without comorbidities was 17.1% (522 out of 3,053).

For those vaccinated who have comorbidities, 11.0% developed serious illness (80 out of 727). Non-vaccinated with comorbidities had a 20.6% rate of serious illness (526 out of 2,551 people).

Speaking on Radio 103FM on Sunday, Health Ministry director-general Prof. Nachman Ash stressed the importance of the coronavirus vaccine in protecting against serious illness, particularly from the Delta variant of the virus.

“This is the right way to deal with this outbreak,” he said. “The likelihood of someone who was vaccinated contracting or passing on the virus is low, and the more people get vaccinated, the more chance we have of beating this virus. The method is vaccination, and the way to convince people of that is via information.”

Referring to recent comments made by the Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, who said that “vaccine refusers are endangering everyone’s health … and the freedom of all Israelis,” Ash said, “G-d forbid we should relate to those opposed to vaccination as our enemies. I believe that we will eventually succeed in convincing them to get vaccinated of their own accord. Getting vaccinated is much better than getting ill, and the more the outbreak spreads, the more the danger increases. What we are aiming for is to attain herd immunity via vaccination,” he clarified.

Several days ago, a number of senior physicians wrote a public letter demanding that older citizens receive a third coronavirus vaccine dose, even though the FDA has yet to authorize such a step. “I am still awaiting further data regarding this issue,” Prof. Ash said, “as the picture is not yet clear with regard to those who have not responded well to the vaccination so far – that is to say, their immunity has not been sufficiently boosted. And of course I want to make sure such a step is safe to take and that it doesn’t lead to more side effects.”

Prof. Ash also addressed the rising rate of infection in Israel, saying, “We are seeing a significant rise in the number of seriously ill patients in our hospitals, similar to the rate of increase in the numbers of confirmed cases. It’s true that, thanks to the vaccine, the percentage of those seriously ill is smaller than in the past, but we are approaching having 100 seriously ill patients, and the figures are starting to worry me.”

With regard to stricter regulations, Prof. Ash said that, “If we reach around 400 serious cases, that will be extremely concerning – it will be a red line indicating that we need to take additional steps to halt the epidemic in its tracks. I very much hope that we won’t reach that stage.”

Asked whether intra-government infighting was affecting government policy, Prof. Ash responded, “We are accustomed to such discussions; we’ve been having such discussions since the very beginning of the epidemic. When people don’t understand the issues well enough, that’s where the trouble starts.”



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