Pfizer and BioNTech announced that the real-world data from the Israel Ministry of Health (MoH)’s analysis confirmed the effectiveness of their Covid-19 vaccine (BNT162b2).

The data demonstrated a reduced incidence rate of Covid-19 disease in individuals fully vaccinated with the BNT162b2 vaccine, as part of the immunisation programme in Israel.

The latest MoH analysis showed at least 97% vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic Covid-19 cases, hospitalisations, severe and critical hospitalisations, and deaths, two weeks after the second vaccine dose.

Also, the vaccine effectiveness was 94% against asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Israel Ministry of Health Director Yeheskel Levy said: “Israel’s strong health system and an unprecedented societal mobilization and awareness allowed us to achieve high national uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine in a short period of time.

“Thanks to our comprehensive public health surveillance program, we have been able to document the remarkable success of the nationwide vaccination campaign with the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Incidence rates in the fully vaccinated population have massively dropped compared to the unvaccinated population, showing a marked decline in hospitalized cases due to Covid-19.

“This clearly demonstrates the power of the Covid-19 vaccine to fight this virus and encourages us to continue even more intensively with our vaccination campaign.”

After the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine authorised for emergency use in Israel in December last year, the Israel MoH initiated a national vaccination programme, targeting people aged 16 years and older.

In January this year, Pfizer and the Israel MoH collaborated to monitor the real-world impact of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

The latest MoH analysis leveraged de-identified aggregate Israel MoH public health surveillance data from 17 January 2021, through 6 March 2021.

MoH has collected comprehensive, real-time data on SARS-CoV-2 testing, Covid-19 cases including date of symptom onset, and vaccination history through a disease registry and national medical record database.

Pfizer vaccines senior vice president and chief medical officer Luis Jodar said: “We are extremely encouraged that the real-world effectiveness data coming from Israel are confirming the high efficacy demonstrated in our Phase 3 clinical trial and showing the significant impact of the vaccine in preventing severe disease and deaths due to Covid-19.

“The findings which suggest that the vaccine may also provide protection against asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections are particularly meaningful as we look to disrupt the spread of the virus around the globe.

“Altogether, these data are critical to understanding the role of vaccination in combatting the pandemic and provide hope to other countries dealing with this devastating disease, which has now afflicted the world for more than a year.”