Ahead of a key meeting of vaccine advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration, the New England Journal of Medicine will publish Israeli data showing that a booster shot of Pfizer’s vaccine dramatically decreased severe Covid-19, Dr. Nachman Ash, director general of the Israeli Ministry of Health, told CNN.
Israel began its booster program August 1, giving boosters to 2.8 million people so far. To date, much of the country’s data on the efficacy of booster shots has not been reviewed by outside experts and published in a medical journal.
Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, director of public health services at the Israeli Ministry of Health, and Ron Milo, a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science, will present data next week at the FDA advisors’ meeting, Ash said.
The data from the Israeli Ministry of Health, posted last month on a pre-print server, looks at more than a million Israelis over the age of 60 who received a booster between July 30 and August 22. It found that 12 days or more after the booster was given, the relative risk of severe illness decreased more than ten times and the relative risk of confirmed infection decreased more than 11 times.
Ash said the New England Journal of Medicine will also be publishing a second set of set of Ministry of Health data before the FDA advisers meet next week. That study showed that people over age 60 who received their second dose in March were 60% more protected against infection and 70% more protected against severe Covid-19 compared to those who received their second dose in January.