Top virologist expresses concern over early Pfizer vaccine results in Israel

19 January 2021, 18:25

By Sam Sholli

This is the moment top virologist Dr Chris Smith expressed his concern over Pfizer vaccine results released from Israel today.

Dr Smith made the remark to LBC's Eddie Mair after Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi yesterday told LBC the 24/7 rollout of coronavirus vaccines will be piloted in London by the end of January.

Speaking of Israel, Dr Chris Smith said: "They've actually been doing a very big rollout of vaccination using Pfizer's vaccine."

He added: "Rather alarmingly, their [Covid] tsar has announced today that they're not seeing quite the potency of the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine that they had hoped, or that Pfizer had suggested was the case because they have picked up a significant number of people who have got infected after that first dose."

He continued: "What's not clear is if those infections cropped up just a bit soon after the first dose of the vaccine so it wouldn't really have had the chance to work or whether they really were cropping up a bit later on.

"Why this matters is, of course, in this country the decision has been made to lengthen the period between the first and the second dose in order to vaccinate as many people as possible.

"So we're going to be looking with interest at what Israel has found in order to find out whether we need to change our strategy or whether or not we should be OK."