Pfizer said Thursday that the Covid-19 vaccine blocked 94% of asymptomatic infections in an Israeli study. Albert Bourla, CEO, calls it extremely important.
The study, which measured the results two weeks after the second dose, also found that the vaccine was at least 97% effective against symptomatic cases of Covid, hospitalizations and deaths, according to Pfizer, which developed the survey with BioNTech.
The analysis used data collected between 17 January and 6 March, when Pfizer’s vaccine was the only available shot in the country and when the more transmissible B.1.1.7 variant from the UK was the dominant strain.
“This is extremely important … for society,” Bourla said in an interview with OilGasJobz’s “Squawk Box.” “The asymptomatic carriers and patients are the ones who spread the disease mainly. We expected something good in terms of symptomatic,” he said, adding that the company does not expect such a “high number” against asymptomatic cases.
An asymptomatic person is someone who has Covid-19 but has no symptoms and never develops it. It is not the same as a pre-symptomatic patient who later develops symptoms. It is estimated that at least 50% of the transmission occurred from people who did not have symptoms, according to a study in JAMA published in January.
The Israeli study means that the Pfizer vaccine can significantly reduce transmission.
“This clearly demonstrates the power of the COVID-19 vaccine to combat this virus and encourages us to continue our vaccination campaign even more intensively,” Yeheskel Levy, director of the Israeli Ministry of Health, said in a press release. said. We strive to bring about even higher surveys among people of all ages, which gives us hope to regain normal economic and social functions in the not so distant future. ‘
Israel launched its national vaccination campaign in December to prioritize people aged 60 and over, health workers and people with poor conditions. By February, it was the world leader in vaccinations and millions of residents had been vaccinated against the virus.
In January, Pfizer and the Israeli Ministry of Health entered into a cooperation agreement to monitor the impact of the vaccine on the real world.
Bourla also said on Thursday that the company was assessing the impact that a booster dose could have on the virus, especially the B.1.351 strain in South Africa, which according to him ‘looks like the most difficult one’.
“We have very good protection already with two doses,” he said.