Prof. Ron Blitzer, head of the coronavirus Cabinet, spoke with Anat Davidov and Golan Yokfaz on 103 FM about the effectiveness of vaccination against COVID-19.
Prof. Blitzer first referred to a study performed by Clalit, in which it was found that on the 14th day after receiving the first dose of the vaccine, there was a 33% drop in the number of people infected.
"In general, this is very much in line with what might have been expected," Blitzer said, adding: "Pfizer's research shows that roughly fourteen days after vaccination, the graphs between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated begin to diverge."
"These things have a gradual effect, and it is quite likely that if we wait another week, we will see some further improvement in these results." However, he argued that despite his own cautious optimism, the second dose remains crucial. "Those who have only one dose are not yet protected, and we still need to follow guidelines and wear masks."
Sharon Alroy-Preis says that 17% of the seriously ill patients have received the first of two doses and that for two weeks, there is no real difference between those who have and have not been vaccinated.
Could someone arrive for vaccination without knowing that they have already been infected?
"Absolutely. For this reason, we discounted the first five days after vaccination from all of our calculations."
What can you say to reassure those coming to get vaccinated who may be frightened of those figures?
"I say that the figure provided by Dr. Alroy-Preis is accurate, but it does not imply anything about the effectiveness of the vaccine. All it shows is that when you have been vaccinated, and less than two weeks have passed, you need to take the same precautions as if you had not been vaccinated. One week after the second vaccination, according to the data we saw from both Pfizer and Moderna, you can expect to be nearly ninety-five percent more secure in your immunity."
Prof. Blitzer stressed that after the second vaccine, one should continue to follow public health guidelines. "Neither vaccine is one hundred percent effective, certainly not in those above sixty. as long as this disease is running rampant, we need to be careful. Additionally, even if you yourself are vaccinated, you can still transmit the disease to others."
Are you afraid that the new mutations will prove resistant to the current vaccine?
"I believe that there will eventually be a need to update the vaccine, but, at this point, there is no evidence that any strain of the virus will prove resistant to the vaccine."