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Data from more than 600,000 vaccinated Israelis shows the Pfizer vaccine is 95 per cent effective, with only 21 vaccinated people ending up in the hospital with COVID-19, according to a press release from Maccabi Healthcare Services, Israel’s second largest healthcare provider.

The findings, while preliminary, suggest the vaccine remains remarkably effective in the real world and not just in the clinical trials conducted last year by Pfizer and BioNTech.

Maccabi looked at data from about 602,000 of its members who were at least one week past their second dose of the vaccine. Among them, seven were hospitalised with severe symptoms, three with moderate symptoms, and 11 with mild symptoms.

All of the hospitalised members were over age 50, and half of them had a chronic health condition, such as morbid obesity, according to Ido Hadari, a Maccabi spokesman.

Among the 602,000 vaccinated members, tests showed that 608 became infected with COVID-19. Maccabi did not routinely test members, but of the 608, 35 per cent chose to get tested because they had symptoms of COVID-19 and 65 per cent chose to get tested because they had been exposed to someone with the virus.

The first shipment of Pfizer vaccines landed in Australia earlier this week.

There are now 142,000 doses on Australian soil.

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