Vaccination is extremely effective in preventing severe illness or death from COVID-19 but may be less effective in preventing infection.
In one of the most successful COVID-19 vaccination drives that the world, Israel has ensured that nearly 61 percent of its population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Recently, however, Israel has reported an uptick in infections, with 1,195 new infections reported on average each day according to data collected by Reuters. Some vaccine skeptics have clocked the latest data and are using it to argue that vaccines don’t work.
The latest findings from the Israeli Health Ministry show that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is effective in preventing severe illness. The latest preliminary data analyzed between June 20 and July 17 (after the highly contagious Delta variant spread through the country) shows that vaccination is more than 91.4 percent effective in preventing severe incidences of illness and 39 percent effective in preventing infection. Some scientists have cautioned that the study used smaller samples and timeframes than those taken for earlier studies and emphasized how difficult it is to make accurate estimates of vaccine effectiveness.
It is clear that deaths and hospitalizations have not followed the surge in COVID-19 cases in Israel. The Washington Post reports that, according to data collected by the University of Oxford, cases are less than one-tenth, hospitalizations are about one-sixteenth, and admissions to the intensive care unit are about one-twentieth of what they were during the peak in January.
In short, though vaccines do not offer 100 percent protection from infection, getting vaccinated does prevent most infected people from falling severely ill or dying from the virus.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.