The first large-scale trial of the Pfizer vaccine that was conducted in Israel exceeded all expectations, Prof. Ran Balitzer, head of the panel of experts advising the government, reported on Monday. The double shot was 94pc effective in vaccinating subjects against coronavirus infection and saved 92pc from lapsing into serious illness. The trials were conducted on a mixed group of 600,000 volunteers and the same number using placebos by Israeli scientists in collaboration with Harvard U colleagues. Amid universal excitement about the evidence that the vaccine works, the professor said it was a pity that one-third of Israelis under 60 had not yet been vaccinated.
By Monday morning, 3,905 million Israelis had received their first shots and 2,534 million the second. New cases stayed down at 2,050 a day, after 7.8pc had tested positive, and 1,008 patients were seriously ill in hospital. The mortality count rose to 5,388.