A study in Israel indicates that a single dose of BioNTech (Nasdaq: BNTX) and Pfizer’s (NYSE: PFE) coronavirus vaccine is 85% effective.
While the currently-available vaccines are all approved on a two-dose basis, the data add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that a single dose can also provide a high degree of protection against COVID-19.
The results will be particularly welcome in the UK, where the government has broken with international consensus by delaying the offer of a second dose, in order to maximize the distribution of available stocks.
Israel is an outlier in the global race to vaccinate people against coronavirus, with almost 80% of the population having received at least one dose.
In Europe, by contrast, just 6% of the population have been inoculated thus far. Others have had more success, with the UK reaching 27% of people and the USA jabbing 19%.
The high rate of coverage makes Israel a key focus of attention for understanding the real-world impact of vaccinations.
Published in The Lancet, the research in Israel focuses on healthcare practitioners, who were prioritized for receiving the vaccine.
The data suggest that the level of protection afforded by a single dose could be higher than had previously been thought.
Scientists found that symptomatic COVID-19 infection was reduced by 85%, between 15 and 28 days after the shot. Infections, including asymptomatic cases, were lowered by three-quarters.