New data coming from Israel reveals that the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine showed a decrease in its effectiveness in protecting against infections and symptomatic illness. The Pfizer vaccine's effectiveness dropped to 64% since June 6, the Health Ministry of Israel reported.
According to Reuters, the ministry's report did now show the previous record of the Pfizer vaccine's effectiveness, but said that it is 93% effective in preventing hospitalizations and serious illness caused by COVID. Ministry officials also said in a report in May that "two doses of Pfizer's vaccine provided more than 95% protection against infection, hospitalization and severe illness."
Israel was hailed as one of the fastest countries to vaccinate its citizens. Now, about 60% of its 9.3 million population has received at least one of the two Pfizer vaccine shots required to be considered fully vaccinated against COVID. It also saw a drop of new COVID cases from 10,000 in January to about a two-digit seven-day average in May.
Its fast-paced vaccination and drop in new cases caused the government to loosen COVID restrictions, including social distancing and mask mandates. However, the "delta variant" of COVID is now seen as a threat, which is why the government decided to partially reimpose mask mandates.
Fox News reported that a Pfizer spokesperson did not comment on the new data coming from Israel but referenced other research that said the vaccine is effective in neutralizing tested variants, including the more contagious delta variant that is making the rounds globally this year.
The company said that the neutralization of COVID's delta strain was efficient but "modesty reduced relative to previous strains."
"I feel quite comfortable that we cover [the delta variant of COVID]," Pfizer CEO and Chairman Albert Bourla told CBS News in June. "We will not need a special vaccine for it. The current vaccine should cover it."
Bourla explained that Pfizer has "surveillance systems in all the countries - all over the world" and that whenever new variants such as the delta one is identified, "immediately, we are testing how the current vaccine behaves compared to this variant."
In the U.S., a Gallup poll conducted in May and released in June showed that almost half of Americans oppose vaccination amongst the youth.
According to the results of the poll that surveyed 3,500 U.S. adults, 49% were opposed to requiring middle schoolers to get the COVID vaccine to attend classes in the fall, while 44% opposed requiring high school students, and 39% opposed requiring college students to get the jab before returning to school. The survey was conducted after the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents aged 12 and up on May 10.
But not all students are happy with vaccine requirements at schools. Some are seeking religious exemption to opt out of getting a vaccine, while others are threatening lawsuits against colleges and universities that are imposing such measures.
This is not surprising as various reports indicated that the vaccines against COVID, all of which are experimental, are linked to injuries, thousands of deaths, and might result in certain health problems years later. Researchers, including NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, say these vaccines are dangerous.