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Thousands of Israelis test positive for COVID-19 after receiving Pfizer jab

Published on 21/01/21 at 10:22am

Thousands of people in Israel have tested positive for coronavirus after receiving the Pfizer vaccine, including some who had been given their second dose, the country’s Health Ministry has said.

According to ministry data, out of the 189,000 people who were tested for COVID-19 after receiving the jab, 12,400 were found to have the virus.

The majority of those infected had contracted the virus shortly after receiving the first vaccine, when inoculation is yet to take effect. However, some 1,410 people tested positive two weeks after the first dose, by which time recipients should be partially immune.

The ministry also said that 69 patients had become infected with coronavirus after being administered both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.

Pfizer has said that the effectiveness of its vaccine increases from 52% to 89% between day 15 and day 21 after the first dose. Despite this, Israeli media outlets report that 7.2% of those tested during this post-vaccine period were found to be positive for COVID-19. Additionally, 84 of the 3,1999 people tested between day 22 and day 29 were also infected with the virus.

Professor Gili Regev-Yohai, Head of the Infection Unit at Sheba Medical Center, has assured the public that the Pfizer vaccine “works wonderfully” after two doses. The professor told Israeli media that all but two of the 102 medics tested at the centre after receiving both doses showed antibody levels between six to 20 times higher than a week before.

Around 2.15 million people have already been vaccinated against coronavirus in Israel since December, including 300,000 who have completed the course.

Darcy Jimenez

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