Pfizer vaccine is about 95% effective against COVID-19, Israeli data shows

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(CNN) - Data from more than 600,000 vaccinated Israelis show the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective, with only 21 vaccinated people ending up in the hospital with COVID-19, according to a press release from Maccabi Healthcare Services, Israel’s second largest healthcare provider.

The findings, while preliminary, suggest the vaccine remains remarkably effective in the real world and not just in the clinical trials conducted last year by Pfizer and BioNTech.

Maccabi looked at data from about 602,000 of its members who were at least one week past their second dose of the vaccine. Among them, 7 were hospitalized with severe symptoms, 3 with moderate symptoms, and 11 with mild symptoms.

All of the hospitalized members were over age 50, and half of them had a chronic health condition, such as morbid obesity, according to Ido Hadari, a Maccabi spokesman.

Among the 602,000 vaccinated members, tests showed that 608 became infected with COVID-19. Maccabi did not routinely test members, but of the 608, 35% chose to get tested because they had symptoms of COVID-19 and 65% chose to get tested because they had been exposed to someone with the virus.

Maccabi compared that infection rate with a group of 528,000 members who had not yet received the vaccine. In this control group, 20,621 people, or nearly 4%, were identified as having COVID-19.

Maccabi’s findings are similar to data released earlier this week by Israel’s largest healthcare provider, which found the vaccine was 94% effective. Pfizer’s clinical trial showed about the same efficacy.

This story was first published on CNN.com, "Pfizer vaccine is about 95% effective against COVID-19, Israeli data shows"