COVID vaccine
COVID vaccineOlivier Fitoussi/Flash90

A serological study carried out at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan has found that the antibodies levels in people who have received the third dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are ten times higher than in people who received the second dose.

The study was conducted by the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Ministry of Health, the Technion, the Hebrew University, the Gartner Institute at Sheba Medical Center and the KI Institute, and measured antibody levels a week after the administration of the vaccine.

The findings were published today (Thursday) in The New England Journal of Medicine.

According to the study, the third dose restores the vaccines effectiveness against the coronavirus to 95% after the level of protection drops in the months following the administration of the second vaccine dose.

At the end of March 2021, more than half of the population in Israel was vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer vaccine - making Israel the first country in the world to reach that milestone. As a result, morbidity rates fell from about 900 cases per day per million inhabitants in mid-January 2021 to less than two cases per day per million inhabitants in June 2021.

Israel began a campaign to provide booster shots to the vaccinated population on August 1 in response to rising morbidity levels caused by the Delta variant. About three million Israelis have received the third vaccine dose so far.

Yesterday, the US Food and Drug Administration published documents from the Pfizer pharmaceutical company recommending the approval of booster shots for its coronavirus vaccine, citing data which shows declining effectiveness over time.