COVID infections fall by 95.8% after two doses of Pfizer vaccine: Israel ministry

A medical worker administers a vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a newly-opened centre in a neighbourhood with a high residency of foreign nationals, including migrant workers, in Tel Aviv, Israel February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

JERUSALEM, Feb 20 (Reuters) – The rate of COVID-19 infections fell by 95.8% among people who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, Israel’s Ministry of Health said on Saturday.

The vaccine is also 98% effective in preventing infections that cause fever or respiratory problems and 98.8% successful in preventing hospitalizations and deaths, the ministry said.

The results were based on data collected nationwide through February 13 from Israelis who had received their second dose of the vaccine at least two weeks earlier.

According to the Health Ministry website, about 1.7 million people had been inoculated with a second dose of the vaccine as of January 30, making them eligible to be included in the data collection.

Previous reports from health care providers have also yielded similar results, prompting Israel to remove some economic restrictions after weeks of lockdown. On Sunday, schools and many businesses will be able to reopen.

The Ministry of Health has also deployed an “authorization” application linked to individual health data in which people who have been inoculated with two doses or are considered immune after recovering from COVID-19 can take hotel reservations or attend sporting events or cultural.

(Report by Ari Rabinovitch. Edited in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)

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