Although Israel has among the highest vaccinated residents in the world, the Delta variant of the coronavirus is now rampant throughout the country. This shows that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine might have a 64 percent efficacy rate against the variant. There is a huge surge in the number of infections after the Delta variant was found in the country.
On May 30, Israel reported its lowest number of cases with 5 new infections. However, nine weeks later, the number of daily cases has risen to 300 and this relates to a huge increase in percentage.
On Monday, Israel’s national expert panel on COVID-19 said that half of the new cases were seen among vaccinated adults. They also say that the surge in cases has been due to the Delta variant, which first emerged in India.
Ran Balicer, the chairman of the national expert panel in Israel believed that it was too early to judge the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine against the Delta variant. He also said that it was too early to panic or to make snap judgements about the vaccine.
When the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was first released it had a 94-efficacy rate. However, the efficacy rate seems to have decreased after the coronavirus has mutated and this is somewhat expected as virus mutations are not exactly a new phenomenon.
The Delta variant is also spreading across the United States and is becoming the dominant strain. It is more contagious when compared with earlier variants. On Monday, California reported that the variant accounted for about 36 percent of the cases. Other states including Nevada, Arkansas and Missouri are also seeing surges in infections.
The UK has also seen a huge surge in cases and British health officials say that the Delta variant could be responsible for about 90 percent of the cases in the country.
All three major vaccines used in the U.S. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson say that their vaccines are effective against the Delta variant. These vaccines are definitely effective as the hospitalizations and deaths after huge number of people received vaccines have been much less than before vaccines were manufactured. However, the fact also remains that the vaccines may have a lower efficacy as the virus mutates and new variants emerge.