Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine effectiveness against Sars-Cov-2 infection: Findings from a large observational study in Israel

Yaki Saciuk, Jennifer Kertes*, Micha Mandel, Beatriz Hemo, Naama Shamir Stein, Anat Ekka Zohar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Development of an effective vaccine against Covid-19 is crucial to reducing infection. mRNA BNT162b2, developed and manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, was one of the first FDA-approved vaccinations reporting high efficacy (95%) and minimal side effects. Evaluating effectiveness of BNT162b2 in a general population has been made possible after the implementation of a nation-wide vaccination program in Israel. This retrospective cohort study was carried out in Maccabi HealthCare services, Israel among 1.6 million members aged 16 and over. The population was divided into those who were at least seven days post- second vaccination and those who had not been vaccinated. Number of days till the end of the study or Covid-19 infection, Covid-19-related hospitalization and mortality was calculated for each participant between 18.1.2021 to 25.4.2021. Participants who had reached day eight after second vaccination during the study period could contribute days to both groups. Vaccine efficacy (VE) was calculated using a conditional Poisson model, controlling for age group, gender, hypertension, diabetes and obesity, fitted within clusters defined by geographical statistical area and calendar week. BNT162b2 was found effective for the total population group for infection, hospitalization and mortality, with adjusted VE of 93·0% (CI:92·6–93·4%), 93·4% (CI:91·9–94·7%) and 91·1% (CI:86·5–94·1%) respectively. VE for infection was lower for participants aged 75 and over, and for those with hypertension, diabetes and obesity. This study strengthens the evidence that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination is effective in preventing infection, hospitalization and mortality.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number106947
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 Elsevier Inc.


  • Covid-19
  • Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
  • mRNA BNT162b2
  • vaccine effectiveness


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