You can easily find lengthier descriptions of how Israel agreed to provide data to Pfizer in exchange for a supply of vaccine. The results are extraordinary and are summarized nicely below. The vaccine was not tested against the U.K. or South African variants but has still proven to be remarkably effective.
Israel publishes real-world data of Pfizer vaccine, prevents 98.9% of COVID deaths
The latest data from Israel’s Ministry of Health shows that the coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) is 98.9% effective at preventing death caused by COVID-19. It is also 99.2% protective against serious illness, reduces morbidity by 95.8% and decreases the chance of hospitalization by 98.9%. The vaccine dramatically reduces serious illness and death and you can see this influence in our morbidity statistics,” said Health Ministry Director-General Chezy Levy.
Backdrop: In early January, Israel struck a vaccines-for-data deal with Pfizer that promised to share vast troves of information with the drug giant in exchange for the continued flow of COVID-19 shots. “Israel will be a global model state,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time. “Israel will share with Pfizer and with the entire world the statistical data that will help develop strategies for defeating the coronavirus.” No funding was allotted for the agreement and the county even paid a sizable premium for vaccine doses. Helping to demonstrate the impact of the vaccine on an entire population is Israel’s highly digitized universal healthcare system, which requires everyone over the age of 18 to register with one of four HMOs.
So far, 4,250,643 Israelis (47%) have received at least one dose of Pfizer’s vaccine, while 2,881,825 (32%) have received both shots out of a population of about 9M. The latest data from Israel’s Ministry of Health represents citizens who have received both doses of the vaccine, 14 days after their second dose, versus people who have not received any inoculation. Around 3M Israelis (33%) are not currently eligible to be vaccinated, including those younger than 16 and people who have recovered from COVID-19.
Outlook: On Thursday, Israel also launched a COVID passport program that will enable those vaccinated or recovered from the coronavirus to take part in various cultural and public activities. The “green pass” will grant access to gyms, hotels, swimming pools and concerts, while restaurants and bars will be included from early March. Could a COVID vaccine passport be issued in the U.S.? “Anything is on the table. Anything is possible, of course,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Newsweek in January.