Health Ministry says COVID vaccine is only 40% effective at halting transmission

New figures released by the Health Ministry claim that the COVID vaccine is only 39% effective at preventing the transmission of the coronavirus, but more than 91% effective at preventing severe cases.

The figures, based on cases from June 20 to July 17 — a period when the Delta variant told hold across Israel — show that those who are fully vaccinated have only a 40.5% chance of avoiding symptomatic COVID, but an 88% chance of avoiding hospitalization due to the disease.

The figures also show that among those who were vaccinated in January, there was only a 16% effectiveness against being infected, compared to 44% of those vaccinated in February, 67% of those who received their shots in March, and 75% for those vaccinated in April.

The vaccine’s effectiveness at preventing severe cases for those vaccinated in January remains 86%, according to the figures, only slightly lower than those vaccinated in the following months.

Prominent epidemiology experts have cast doubt, however, on the Health Ministry’s claims that the COVID vaccine has experienced a major drop in effectiveness in recent months.