Israel reported on Sunday a 94% drop in symptomatic COVID-19 infections among 600,000 people who had received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
The Health maintenance organization (HMO) called Clalit, which covers more than half of all Israelis, said the same group was also 92% less likely to develop severe illness from the virus.
The comparison was against a group of the same size, with matching medical histories, who had not received the vaccine.
“It shows unequivocally that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is extremely effective in the real world a week after the second dose, just as it was found to be in the clinical study,” Ran Balicer, Clalit’s chief innovation officer, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
He added that the data indicates the Pfizer vaccine, which was developed in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech, is even more effective two weeks or more after the second shot.
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, who have been tabulating national data, said on Sunday that a sharp decline in hospitalization and serious illness identified earlier among the first age group to be vaccinated – aged 60 or older – was seen for the first time in those aged 55 and older.
Greece to test Israeli Covid-19 drug
Greece will take part in the trials for an Israeli treatment for COVID-19, following the meeting between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem earlier in February.
The Jerusalem Post reports that during the press conference with Mitsotakis, Netanyahu held up a vial of what he called a “miracle drug.”
He added: “If you’re infected by corona and are seriously ill and have a lung problem, take this, inhale it, and you come out feeling good.”
Netanyahu said that earlier in the day he met with Prof. Nadir Arber, who developed the new treatment — called EXO-CD24 — and one of the first things Mitsotakis asked was whether Greece could take part in the clinical trials.
The Greek leader said he was “very happy to have discussed the issue of this new drug that caught the attention of the international press.”
Drug with spectacular results
Last week it was reported that a number of severely ill Covid-19 patients made a full recovery within five days after being treated with the drug.
Researchers at the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv told Israeli’s KAN News network that out of 30 seriously ill Covid-patients that were treated with the drug, 29 showed a significant improvement within two days and all were released within three to five days.
The medication is a targeted drug that was reportedly developed as a cure for certain types of cancer.
EXO-CD24 is relatively inexpensive and must be given once a day for a period of five days.