Pfizer shot 39% effective against infection in Israel; 91% effective against severe disease

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine was 39 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 infection and 88 percent effective against hospitalizations from the virus in Israel, where the delta variant is the dominant strain, CNBC reported July 23, citing a new study from the country's health ministry. 

The study, published July 22 and based on an unspecified number of people between June 20 and July 17, showed the shot was 91 percent effective against severe illness from COVID-19.

A previous study from Israel's health ministry released July 5 estimated Pfizer's vaccine was 64 percent effective at preventing infection from the virus and 93 percent effective at preventing serious illness. 

A study released July 21 by Public Health England found that Pfizer's shot was 88 percent effective against symptomatic disease from the delta variant. 

"We have to be prepared and we have to be nimble that people may need a booster at some point," Isaac Bogoch, MD, an infectious disease professor at the University of Toronto, told CNBC. "This close surveillance that's happening in countries like Israel, the U.K. and other parts of the world is going to be very helpful in driving policy if and when we do need boosters." 

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