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Pfizer vaccine not as effective against Delta, Israel reports — but you should still get vaccinated

The Israeli government says data shows the Pfizer vaccine is 64 percent effective against the Delta variant compared to it being 95 percent effective back in May.

Israel had an early and aggressive COVID vaccination campaign with a majority of the country now protected. And that is giving us a good idea of how well the vaccine works against the Delta variant. 

Let’s connect the dots.

Israel had used the Pfizer vaccine in their widespread COVID vaccination campaign. And like a lot of other countries, the Delta variant is now spreading there. 

The Israeli government says their analysis of the data shows the Pfizer vaccine is now 64 percent effective as the Delta variant takes over. Back in May, when the country was really only dealing with the Alpha variant, the vaccine was over 95 percent effective.

But it is important to keep in mind, Israel says the Pfizer shot is 93 percent effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalizations. That is not a large drop from the 97 percent reported back in May. 

The country cites the vaccine's effectiveness in preventing severe disease as it continues its push to get everyone vaccinated.

Scientists do warn these numbers are not the final word. Israel has not released the underlying data and measuring vaccine effectiveness in the real world is actually pretty hard. 

Researchers work in clinical trials to rule out other reasons why someone may be infected. 

In two other studies in Britain and Scotland, researchers found the Pfizer vaccine was 88 and 79 percent effective against the Delta variant.

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