A new serological study conducted at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan has shown 98% of hospital workers who received the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine have developed a high level of antibodies to fight off the virus.
The study of 102 samples, taken a week after Israel began administering the second dose — when the vaccine is expected to reach peak effectiveness — showed most vaccinees had higher antibody counts than among those who have recovered from COVID-19.
The hospital says that a week after receiving the final dose, antibodies jumped to a level between 6 and 20 times higher than that observed after the first shot.
Hundreds more samples are set to be examined.
Two employees developed only low levels of antibodies, the tests showed — one of them known to have a weakened immune system.
Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit at Sheba, says that the initial results indicate the vaccinees are unlikely to be carriers or infectious — a matter that scientists have hitherto not determined — as antibody levels are high enough to suppress any virus particles.
“This means the vaccine works wonderfully,” Regev-Yochay says. The results “are in agreement with Pfizer’s trials and go even beyond the expected [results]. I expect the tests of the rest of the employees participating to be similar.”
She adds: “There is definitely cause for optimism.”