by Brandon Butler
Israel sets the bar high for COVID vaccinations 2/7/2021

Jen Kirby for Vox:

Israel has outpaced the world in vaccinating its population against Covid-19. Now the results are starting to come in. And, so far, the news is good for both Israel and the world.

Data suggests that the pandemic is starting to slow in Israel. Infections and the number of seriously ill people are declining, particularly among those over 60, one of the groups targeted in the early rollout of the vaccination campaign.

The vaccine, out in the wild, is also mirroring the results of clinical trials, which found the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine (the dose most Israelis have received so far) was about 95 percent effective in reducing infections.

But:

But scientists caution that there’s still a long way to go. Experts noted that serious cases are declining, but overall infections are not diminishing as swiftly. And many of these studies rely on preliminary data, and these findings may change over time, especially with these new coronavirus variants emerging.

Israel also entered a strict lockdown in early January, just as the vaccination campaign was ramping up, which may have also helped nudge cases downward.

This big test is waiting to see if other countries, as the vaccinations start to roll out in greater quantities, have the same declining rates as Israel is seeing. But — at least here in America — we’re again allowing indoor dining and lifting stay-at-home orders. However good the vaccinations are, our results are going to look a lot difference than a country living in a strict lockdown.