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Real world example of Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy

A nurse holds a phial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy’s Hospital in London. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)

Dear Sir,

Permit me to share some relevant information regarding my experience overcoming reluctance and misinformation for getting the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

Recently, I received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Like many others, I barely felt the jab and my side-effects were mild. I have no apprehension getting the second dose in another three weeks.

Preparing for inoculation, I perused the FDA’s review memo on Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine submitted in support of the request for emergency use authorization. Additionally, I monitored reports from Israel of proof of the vaccine’s effectiveness.

Why Israel? The reasons are two-fold. Firstly, Israel remains the world leader in Covid-19 vaccination. A country-wide vaccine drive was first launched in mid-December and is being maintained via their successful “Operation Back to Life” campaign.

Secondly, designated as a "global model state" for the rapid vaccination of an entire country, the tiny Jewish state is supplying BioNTech and Pfizer with valuable data from its vaccination campaign including, the most comprehensive set of data so far suggesting from credible ongoing “real-world” studies that the COVID-19 vaccines are working nearly as well in practice as they did in clinical trials. Case in point: “Major Israeli study finds Pfizer jab 94 per cent effective in 'real world' use” - The Telegraph.

Notably, and during a press briefing held last week, Anthony Fauci, the most senior US government expert on the coronavirus, cited Israel’s vaccination drive as proof of the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. This made sense since unlike Pfizer’s clinical trial covering fewer than 50,000 people, Israel had so far surpassed a new milestone of over 4 million first shots administered, representing 43 per cent of its 9.1 million-strong population, with another 2.7 million (28 per cent) receiving both shots.

Like Bermuda, Israel is also battling vaccine hesitancy and scepticism while aiming to inoculating its most at-risk population. Israel’s highly-regarded Maccabi Health Service reported that “a person who is vaccinated has only a one in 1,000 chance of contracting COVID-19”. Significantly, and from their study of 602,000 Israelis, Maccabi has now found that the Pfizer “vaccine is 95 per cent effective in Israel” and “the efficacy is consistent with the efficacy reported in the trial conducted by Pfizer”. See The Jerusalem Post’s coverage entitled “Coronavirus: 1/1,000 chance of contracting COVID-19 if vaccinated – study.”

Mr. Editor, as with reporting on Israeli studies by leading news outlets e.g. The New York Times: “Israel’s Vaccination Results Point a Way Out of Virus Pandemic,” I encourage The Royal Gazette to begin similar reporting for the benefit of Bermuda’s public.

I’m also making a plea to the Ministry of Health, to consider sharing with the public Israel’s real-world evidence on the efficacy of the Pfizer’s vaccine, as hard evidence from the world’s first test case is promising.

I close with an instructive lesson for consideration. On January 27, the world observed the UN’s International Day of Commemoration in memory of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Remarkably, Pfizer’s chief executive Albert Bourla is a descendant of the few Holocaust survivors of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki (Greece) which was almost completely wiped out by the Nazis during the Second World War. Unlike the millions who died without help, Mr. Bourla sees the chance for helping to save others, in partnership with a German company, as a triumph over Nazi evil. It is inconceivable that Israel would place at risk more than 43 per cent of the country’s population – including many of the world’s remaining Holocaust survivors – by promoting an unsafe or dangerous vaccine.

T. REID

Pembroke

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Published February 24, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated February 23, 2021 at 3:26 pm)

Real world example of Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy

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