An Israeli study indicated Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine for the coronavirus was 89.4 percent effective in stemming the spread of COVID-19.
While early evidence had indicated that the coronavirus vaccines have cut transmission of the virus in addition to preventing illness, experts have been cautioning that the question required further study.
The study by Pfizer, BioNTech and Israel’s health ministry was the first decisive indication that a vaccine did indeed curb transmission, Bloomberg reported.
The study, which was posted in draft form and has not yet been peer-reviewed, also suggest the vaccination may prevent the spread of the virus by asymptomatic carriers, according to Bloomberg.
Israel has administered more vaccines per capita than any other country, with nearly half of the nation’s 9.05 million people receiving the shot thus far.
Israel began its national rollout of the Pfizer vaccine Dec. 20.
During the time period covered by the study, Jan. 17 through Feb. 6, 80 percent of cases of the virus in Israel were a more infectious strain believed to have originated in England. About 27 percent of Israelis aged 15 and older were fully vaccinated through Feb. 6, which the study defined as having received their second dose more than seven days prior, according to Bloomberg.
Israel’s health ministry also said the vaccine was 98 percent effective in preventing symptoms such as fevers and respiratory issues and 99 percent effective in preventing deaths or hospitalization, according to Reuters.
Israel imposed a further lockdown after the English variant was detected but is set to lift several lockdown measures Sunday, including reopening schools and most retailers. The government has also premiered the “Green Pass,” an app that allows fully vaccinated citizens or those who are immunized after recovery to show their credentials to stay at hotels or attend public events, according to Reuters.