JERUSALEM : The first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination is 85% effective against coronavirus infection between two to four weeks after inoculation, according to a study published in the Lancet medical journal.

The survey was carried out on healthcare workers at the largest hospital in Israel, while on December 19 launched a mass vaccination campaign regarded as the world's fastest.

Israeli studies have found the vaccine developed by US pharma giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech to be 95 percent effective one week after a second jab, while the Lancet report focused on more than 9,000 medical staff at Sheba hospital near Tel Aviv.

Some 7,000 of them received the first dose and the rest were not inoculated. From the group, 170 were diagnosed with Covid-19 after tests carried out only on those showing symptoms or who had been in contact with coronavirus carriers.

Fifty-two percent  of them were found to have not been vaccinated.

Comparing the two groups, the Sheba study calculated that the vaccine was 37 percent effective between one and 14 days after inoculation, rising to 85 percent after 15 to 28 days.

''What we see is a really high effectiveness already right after two weeks, between two weeks to four weeks after the vaccine, already high effectiveness of 85 percent reduction of symptomatic infection,'' Gilli Regev-Yochay, co-author of the study, told a small group of journalists.

He said that despite the vaccine being ''amazingly effective,'' scientists are still studying whether fully vaccinated people can transmit the virus to others. [AFP]


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