Israeli patients aged 70 and older were much less likely to require mechanical ventilation for COVID-19 after most people in their age group had received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, according to a study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Israel initiated a national vaccination campaign using the Pfizer vaccine in December, prioritizing people over 60, health care workers and people with underlying medical conditions. By February, the ratio of COVID-19 patients aged 70 and older requiring mechanical ventilation declined 67% compared with that of patients under 50, the least vaccinated age group.

The authors said the findings provide preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing severe cases of COVID-19 in Israel.

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