Quebec might revisit COVID-19 vaccine strategy after Israel provides disconcerting data

COVID-19 vaccine strategy

COVID-19 vaccine strategy – After Israel began rolling out their vaccines on December 19th 2020, they also made an agreement with Pfizer to provide data, in order to determine if ‘herd immunity’ was being attained after a certain percentage of vaccination had taken place. The data provided, notably only on 200,000 elderly Israelis, suggests that the first shot alone only lowered infections by 33% – a third of the predicted 90% rate made by many experts in the field.

Quebec may look into COVID-19 vaccine strategy after new results come to light

Nachman Ash, the country’s highly respected military physician, was reported as saying ‘the first dose of Pfizer’s vaccine provides less protection against Covid-19 than the US pharmaceutical firm (Pfizer) had initially indicated it would’ and ‘that it may not protect against new strains of the virus’. As well, according to data released by Israel’s Sheba Medical Center on Monday January 18th, those who had received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine had a 6 to 12-fold increase in antibodies.

Is Quebec COVID-19 vaccine strategy work?

Israel is not delaying their rollout of the second doses and they are following the 21 day timeline directed by Pfizer, whose trial data showed that together, both doses are approximately 95% per cent effective. It is widely known that some vaccines have shown to be less effective after a single dose and that protection is not immediate. Pfizer has stated that a single dose of its vaccine is only about 52% effective and it can take up to a few weeks to produce an effective antibody response. However, the second dose activates different responses, boosting the protection.

To date, the Quebec government has been adamant with their plan to delay the second dose to 3 months later, against the Pfizer directive of 21 days (with the Moderna vaccine at 28 days between the first and second dose) and using their supply to give out the first dose only, regardless of many expert’s opinion. They have even gone so far as to say the first dose is 90% effective, contradicting Pfizer’s data. However, with this new information from Israel, it appears government might be revisiting their vaccine plan. One of the province’s chief advisors on their vaccine strategy, Dr. Gaston De Serres, said ‘we not only monitor the data that comes from Quebec but also what is observed around the world… yes, we are looking at the data from Israel and could make recommendations based on this data if necessary.’ It is anyone’s guess what decision they will come to at this point.

By: Bonnie Wurst – [email protected]

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