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Pfizer vaccine protection takes a hit as Delta variant spreads
Pfizer vaccine protection takes a hit as Delta variant spreads, Israeli government says


(CNN)The Israeli government says its analysis has shown the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine appears to be less effective against infections caused by the Delta variant compared to other strains of Covid-19.

In a brief statement issued on Monday, the government said that as of June 6, the vaccine provided 64% protection against infection. In May -- when the Alpha variant dominated in Israel and the Delta strain had not yet spread widely -- it found that the shot was 95.3% effective against all infections.

The government added that the vaccine was now 93% effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalizations, compared to 97% reported in the medical journal The Lancet in May.

The statement cited top line figures, but did not release underlying data or other details about its analysis. A team at Hebrew University said in a separate statement that it was too soon to tell how much the Delta variant was affecting vaccine efficacy.

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University's School of Public Health, was also cautious about drawing conclusions. "Best data still suggest mRNA vaccines offer high degree of protection against infection and superb protection against severe illness. Lets await more data but as of now ... If you're vaccinated, I wouldn't worry," he tweeted.

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