Pfizer COVID-19 Shot Effective For People With Chronic Disea
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The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech is effective at preventing symptomatic and severe disease in people with some chronic illnesses, like diabetes and heart disease, the biggest real-world study showed. The analysis of almost 1.4 million people by Israel's largest healthcare provider will offer further hope for countries as they get shots into citizens' arms and curb the pandemic that has killed more than 3.1 million people.

The vaccine was 80% effective against symptomatic infection for people with heart or chronic kidney diseases, 86% for people with type 2 diabetes, 75% for cerebrovascular disease, and 84% for people suffering from immunodeficiency. For people who were vaccinated and were already suffering three or more chronic conditions or risk factors, the research shows it was 88% effective in preventing symptomatic infection.

It was more than 90% effective against severe disease for people with type 2 diabetes, heart or cerebrovascular disease and 100% for people suffering from immunodeficiency. The data is the latest from Israel where a universal and digitised healthcare system and the speedy vaccination program have allowed researchers insights into the vaccine's potency.

The results were lower than the 96% overall vaccine effectiveness seven days or more after the second dose, found by the study and the 95% effectiveness found in clinical trials last year. But researchers said they offered some optimism that the vaccine still offers protection against severe illness in people who become infected after they get their shots.

The study compared about 700,000 people vaccinated between Dec. 20, 2020, and Feb. 14 against the same size group of unvaccinated people, matching age, gender, and other characteristics. The subgroup of the people with chronic diseases was about 130,000 people. Until mid-April, Israel has documented 98% fewer coronavirus cases, 93% fewer critically ill, and 87% fewer COVID-19 deaths.


The large sample size allowed researchers to look more closely at subgroups of people with specific chronic diseases which would not necessarily be examined in a vaccine clinical trial, the researchers said.

It also found the vaccine to be 92% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 among people over the age of 70, 96% for overweight people, and 93% for those suffering obesity, and provided 90% protection for people suffering from hypertension.