Pfizer: COVID vaccine reduces asymptomatic spread

The worldwide coronavirus vaccine rollout is giving scientists a real-time picture of how the fight is unfolding against the global pandemic.

The latest bit of good news is out of Israel, where data show the Pfizer-BioNTech shot is 94 percent effected in preventing asymptomatic infection.

The announcement Wednesday from the companies indicates the vaccine could significantly reduce transmission of the highly-infectious disease.

Analysis from the live data collected between mid-January and early March also showed the vaccine was 97 percent effective in preventing symptomatic disease, severe disease and death. That's basically in line with the results from the vaccine's late-stage clinical trial released in December.

The new data have yet to be peer reviewed but are important because they show has the vaccine is performing well outside of clinical trials, in the general population.

The study showed unvaccinated individuals were 44 times more likely to develop COVID-19 symptoms and 29 times more likely to die than those who received the vaccine.

Data out of Israel show Pfizer’s vaccine is also proving to be effective against the highly infectious coronavirus variant first discovered in Britain.

Researchers are eager to see how Pfizer’s dose stacks up against another variant first identified in South Africa, but so far too few Israelis have been exposed to that to draw conclusions.

Israel is leading the world in vaccination roll out, due in part to an agreement to share data with the vaccine developers. As of this week, around 55 percent of the country's 9 million population had been given a least one dose of the vaccine, 43 percent have received both doses, according to Israel's Health Ministry.