A third dose of Pfizer’s vaccine significantly improved protection from infections and serious cases of Covid-19 among people aged 60 years and over in Israel, compared to those who received two doses, showed results of a study published by the Ministry of Health in this Sunday (22).
The data was presented at a meeting of a ministerial panel of vaccination experts on Thursday (19) and appeared on the ministry’s website this Sunday, though full details of the study have not been released.
The findings were similar to statistics reported last week by Israeli health group Maccabi, one of several organizations administering booster shots to try to contain the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Detailing statistics from Israel’s Gertner Institute and KI Institute, ministry officials said that among people aged 60 and over the protection against infection provided ten days after a third dose was four times greater than after two doses.
A third dose for over 60s offered five to six times more protection after ten days against serious illness and hospitalization.
This age group is particularly vulnerable to Covid-19, and in Israel they were the first to receive vaccinations in late December.
In recent weeks, the Ministry of Health has said immunity has declined over time for the elderly and young people alike.
Most of the vaccinated people who became seriously ill in Israel were over 60 years old.
Israel began administering the third dose to over 60s on July 30th. On Thursday, it lowered the age of eligibility to more than 40, and included pregnant women, teachers and underage health professionals.