Israel sharing COVID-19 data with Pfizer to help fine-tune vaccine rollout

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel is giving weekly data updates on its COVID-19 outbreak to vaccine maker Pfizer under a collaboration agreement that may help other countries fine-tune their inoculation campaigns and achieve 'herd immunity', officials said. Israelis began receiving first shots of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Dec. 19 in one of the world's fastest vaccination rollouts.

Reuters January 19, 2021 00:10:32 IST
Israel sharing COVID-19 data with Pfizer to help fine-tune vaccine rollout

COVID-19 data with Pfizer to help fine-tune vaccine rollout" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/themes/firstpost/images/220x220_Watermark.jpg" alt="Israel sharing COVID19 data with Pfizer to help finetune vaccine rollout" width="300" height="225" />

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel is giving weekly data updates on its COVID-19 outbreak to vaccine maker Pfizer under a collaboration agreement that may help other countries fine-tune their inoculation campaigns and achieve "herd immunity", officials said.

Israelis began receiving first shots of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Dec. 19 in one of the world's fastest vaccination rollouts.

Israel's Health Ministry made public most of a 20-page collaboration agreement it signed with Pfizer, which said the aim was "to determine whether herd immunity is achieved after reaching a certain percentage of vaccination coverage in Israel".

Commercial details such as price and quantity of vaccine shots supplied were not made public, but the agreement said that Israel was relying on Pfizer to deliver enough doses at a fast enough rate to allow it to achieve "herd immunity", meaning a sufficient portion of the population is immune to the virus.

"While this project is conducted in Israel, the insights gained will be applicable around the world and we anticipate will allow governments to maximize the public health impact of their vaccination campaigns," BioNTech said on Monday in a statement.

This includes determining potential immunization rates needed to stop the virus from spreading, it said.

The goal, BioNTech said, was "to monitor the evolution of the epidemic over time and at different vaccination rates".

"This will help us understand whether a potential decrease in cases and deaths can be attributed solely to direct vaccine protection or to both direct and indirect (or 'herd') protection," it said.

Asked whether Pfizer was offering anything in return for the Israeli health data, a Pfizer spokeswoman in Israel said: "Pfizer does not offer anything in return. The agreement is public so you can read it. Besides that, we do not have any other comments."

During weekly status reports, Israel will provide Pfizer with epidemiological data such as: the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, how many patients were on ventilators, how many died, as well as an age and other demographic breakdown.

Such data was available to the public and keeps patients anonymous, Israeli officials said.

About a quarter of Israelis have received their first vaccine shot and 3.5% already got their second dose.

Still, the country is in its third lockdown with infection rates remaining high. More than half a million cases have been reported and 4,005 people have died in Israel since the pandemic began.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch, Steven Scheer, Ludwig Burger and Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Alex Richardson)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Ethiopia's regional Tigray forces name conditions for peace with government
World

Ethiopia's regional Tigray forces name conditions for peace with government

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Forces fighting Ethiopia's military in the Tigray region laid out eight conditions on Friday for beginning peace talks, including the appointment of an international mediator and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered air strikes and a ground offensive against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) - the former ruling party in the northern region - after regional forces attacked federal army bases in the region on Nov.

Citigroup considering divestiture of some foreign consumer units - Bloomberg Law
Business

Citigroup considering divestiture of some foreign consumer units - Bloomberg Law

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc is considering divesting some international consumer units, Bloomberg Law reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. The discussions are around divesting units across retail banking in the Asia-Pacific region, the report https://bit.ly/3pD57WP said

Biden tours Pfizer vaccine plant as drugmaker promises to double supply
World

Biden tours Pfizer vaccine plant as drugmaker promises to double supply

By Alexandra Alper and Michael Erman PORTAGE, Mich. (Reuters) - U.S