First dose of Pfizer shot does not immediately prevent COVID infection, says Israeli health minister

First dose of Pfizer shot does not immediately prevent COVID

After Israel's health ministry this week rowed back on comments by the country's coronavirus tsar, who suggested single doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine had not given as much protection against the disease as had been hoped, the country's health minister has said there had been cases among those inoculated, The Guardian reports.

Yuli Edelstein told the BBC's Andrew Marr show:

"We're just at the beginning of the campaign, we unfortunately do see cases that after getting the first dose, people do get sick, get the coronavirus. At the same time, there are some encouraging signs of less severe diseases, fewer people hospitalised after the first dose. At this stage it's very difficult to say, it's not a clinical trial yet ... We sincerely hope we will have better information soon.

We still have a very small number of those who we consider fully vaccinated, meaning a week after the second dose, according to Pfizer's instructions ... We decided to follow their instructions.

We have nearly 28% of the population is under the age 16. Of the rest of the population, we want to get to very high numbers, probably to 80%, and then we'll be able to talk about something that reminds herd immunity. We do have to keep in mind that those who recovered from Covid are not being vaccinated, we consider them at this stage immune.

Vaccination is not a panacea ... Corona is still with us, and we'll have to live with this reality for a long time," he said.

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