According to a new Clalit Health Services survey, 88 percent of persons who received the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine felt “similar” or “better” than they did in the days following the second dose.
The health fund issued its first report on the negative effects of the third shot, based on data collected from 4,500 people over the age of 60 among the 240,000 members who received it.
Some 31% reported one or more side effects.
Some 24% reported pain at the site of injection, 6% swelling in the injection area and 1% swelling in the armpit.
Another 15% of those polled stated they had at least one systemic side effect.
9 percent suffered weariness, 6.1 percent reported feeling generally unwell, 4.3 percent reported headaches, 4.3 percent reported muscular pain, 2.1 percent reported joint pain, 1.4 percent reported fever, 0.7 percent reported vomiting or diarrhoea, and 0.1 percent reported rash.
Only 1% of those polled reported any other symptoms, with 0.4 percent reporting trouble breathing and 0.3 percent reporting abnormal heartbeat or chest problems.
Similarly, just 1% of those polled claimed they sought medical attention for one or more of these side symptoms.
“Although we do not yet have long-term research on the efficacy and safety of the third dose,” said Prof. Ran Balicer, Clalit’s chief innovation officer, “these findings continue to point to the benefit of immunization now, in addition to careful behavior by older adults and avoiding gatherings in closed spaces during these weeks.”
At the same time, a small number of older people who were vaccinated with a third COVID shot were infected with coronavirus, The Jerusalem Post has confirmed.
The report was first published by N12.
According to the Health Ministry, 14 persons out of over 400,000 who were vaccinated with a third shot were diagnosed with the virus, with two of them hospitalised — one in mild condition and the other in moderate condition.
Individuals became infected seven days or more after taking the immunisation. The majority were above the age of 60, although three were under the age of 60 and had received a third dose due to immunosuppression.
However, Cyrille Cohen, head of the immunology lab at Bar-Ilan University, told the Post that this figure should not be taken seriously.
“Approximately 15% of daily cases are people over the age of 60,” he explained. “Last week, there was an average of 3,000 to 3,300 new cases per day, which means that around 3,500 people above the age of 60 got infected out of 1.6 million people this age – 0.2% of older people got infected.”
Fourteen out of 400,000 people is even less, roughly 0.0035%.
“I believe it is too early to say anything one way or the other regarding the efficacy of the third vaccine,” Cohen said. “We will have to wait a few more weeks.”
He added that the vaccines were never 100% effective. Even against the original Wuhan strain, the Pfizer vaccine was only 95% effective in preventing symptomatic infection. As such, “we should not be surprised right now.”