Among the nearly one million Israelis vaccinated against coronavirus so far, some 240 Israelis have been diagnosed with the virus days after getting the shot.
The Times of Israel, which reported this, maintained that the figure underscored the need for individuals to continue to protect themselves for weeks after being inoculated.
This is as the body takes time to develop effective antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.
Quoting Channel 13 News, The Times of Israel reported that the Pfizer vaccine is not made with the coronavirus itself, meaning that there is no chance anyone could catch it from the shots.
Instead, the vaccine contains a piece of genetic code that trains the immune system to recognize the spiked protein on the surface of the virus and create antibodies to attack if it encounters the real thing.
But this process takes time, and studies of the vaccine so far have shown immunity to the virus rises only some 8-10 days after the first injection — and then only to around 50 percent effectiveness.
This is why the second dose of the vaccine, given 21 days after the first, is critical: It strengthens the immune system’s response to the virus, bringing it to 95% effectiveness and ensuring that immunity lasts. This level of immunity is only reached about a week after the second dose — or 28 days after the first.
Anyone who is infected a few days before getting the vaccine’s first dose or in the weeks before full effectiveness is reached is still in danger of developing symptoms. (Even when the vaccine reaches its top potential, there remains a 5% chance of this.)