The mega-test of Israel that watches the world: what were the results of 600 thousand vaccinated with Pfizer monitored by the government

The mega-test of Israel that watches the world: what were the results of 600 thousand vaccinated with Pfizer monitored by the government

An elderly couple enters a cubicle inside a mass COVID-19 vaccination center on Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, Israel

The whole world is watching Israel, the country in which the campaign coronavirus vaccination it started earlier than anywhere else and where the vaccination rate already reaches 20% of its population.

And while the questions revolve around whether the vaccine works and what the side effects are, the data that Israel collects and has begun to share about its mass vaccination campaign, which began on December 20, will help pharmaceutical companies and other countries to better understand its effectiveness and impact.

So far the highlight is the data published this week by the Ministry of Health showing that the vaccine significantly reduces infectionseven before the full protection provided by the second dose takes effect.

About 600,000 people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been under observation, which represents a monitoring group 30 times larger than those used by pharmaceutical companies in their clinical tests, also in the third phase, which is the broadest, and precedes the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Israeli health authorities announced that the vaccine Pfizer stops infections by 50% 14 days after both doses have been injected. They also stressed that the results are preliminary, based on evidence of coronavirus performed in people who had received the vaccine and in people who had not.

Health organizations

The Israeli health system has four partially subsidized health organizations or funds that provide medical services to their partners, whose numbers never exceed the capacity of health providers, so they offer a optimal medical care. One of them, Maccabi, has made public its own data, in which it reported a 60% reduction in infections.

The advantage that Israel offers to pharmaceutical companies is that it has a centralized and digital registry of all citizens who belong to one of its four health organizations“, Indicated the epidemiologist Silvio Pitlik. “These organizations are also responsible for distributing vaccines”, He added.

Because all Israelis belong to one of the health organizations and their data is registered, it is the optimal context to receive a complete information on the impact of the vaccine, according to age, sex and pre-existing diseases.

A medical worker receives her second injection of coronavirus disease vaccine at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Reuters)

A medical worker receives her second injection of coronavirus disease vaccine at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Reuters)

Pfizer you will receive from Israel general data of those vaccinated and their reactions, and according to the Ministry of Health, will only be public information and not individual in any case, which will allow the pharmaceutical company to have a detailed view of the diverse Israeli population thanks to its advanced medical data collection system.

Because, according to health professionals, clinical tests do not always give an exact picture of the effectiveness of the vaccine, but the actual test that is taking place at the moment will.

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Ben Oakley
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