The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may not provide as much protection against the Delta variant as initially believed, according to data released yesterday by Israel’s health ministry, Haaretz reports.
The vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing infection appears to have fallen to 64%, per the new data. Multiple experts questioned the findings but acknowledged the vaccine’s effectiveness is likely much lower than the 91% efficacy in preventing infection that Israel reported in March.
The latest data comes as Israel confronts a surge in case numbers that rival those in late March, another Haaretz article notes.
Warning shot: Other countries should take note that 42% of those who tested positive in today's official numbers from Israel had been vaccinated against the virus.
Delta is now responsible for 90% of the COVID-19 cases in Israel.
International COVID-19 News
Tale of 2 countries/1 island: Haiti is still awaiting its first shipment of 130,000 AstraZeneca vaccines as weekly COVID-19 cases recently increased by 4X, The New Humanitarian reports. The country waved off a COVAX offer of 750,000 vaccines in May after blood clot issues were linked to the vaccine. The Dominican Republic has vaccinated nearly 35% of its population.
Surge in South Africa: COVID-19 deaths in South Africa have officially surpassed 60,000 though they may actually top, 170,000, according to The Guardian. A Delta-driven third wave of infections is overwhelming hospitals in Johannesburg as cases across Africa shot up by 25% last week.
Hospital deaths in Indonesia: Tapped out medical oxygen supplies led to the deaths of 63 people in a Java hospital this weekend, CNN reports. Indonesia reported nearly 28,000 new cases as Bali and Java were put under emergency lockdowns because of another Delta-fueled wave.
Afghanistan’s exponential rise: Close to half of all COVID-19 tests are positive in Afghanistan, indicating widespread community transmission, NPR Goats and Soda reports. More than 2,300 cases were reported on June 16, the highest number yet recorded during the pandemic—though testing is severely limited and actual numbers are likely much higher.