New research shows that about 15% of the most influential studies in the world conducted on COVID-19 were penned down by Israeli scientists.
It highlights the huge contributions that Israelis have made to a field that has been vital for dealing with the pandemic that had begun almost three years ago.
The research discovered that about 536 peer-reviewed studies had been conducted between January 2020 and June 2022 by Israeli scientists on coronavirus vaccines.
This makes it about four studies on average on a weekly basis during this time.
In the beginning, the studies had focused on the theoretical aspects of COVID-19 vaccination and after the vaccines had been introduced, they shifted focus on their effectiveness.
Since Israel turned out to be a trailblazer in vaccine administration, the studies had also been done on the different aspects of the immunization campaign in the country.
There was at least one Israeli author in about 3% of the total studies to have been conducted on the topic and this figure rose to 15% for papers that were ‘highly cited’.
This means that the studies are in the highest percent of publications. It should be noted that Israelis make up for about 0.2% of the world’s population.
Israeli research was found to be prevalent in two of the leading journals. Around 11% of the articles on COVID-19 vaccines published in the New England Journal of Medicine were by Israeli scientists.
They ranked third, while they ranked fourth where Nature Medicine is concerned, as 9% of the articles were by Israeli scientists.
An epidemiologist at the Ben Gurion University, Prof. Nadav Davidovitch said that the contribution to the scientific research made by Israeli researchers on the vaccine was quite unusual.
He is one of the scholars who wrote the article on the contribution by Israelis. He stated that Israeli research had been able to gain prominence for a number of reasons.
These included the country’s efficient and quick vaccination campaign as well as the need for timely real-time information that could be used for making decisions, which Israel was able to provide.
Furthermore, he also said it was because of the robust healthcare system in Israel that collaborated well with stakeholders and maintained electronic medical records.
He added that they had also collaborated with leading international institutions, such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and also regulatory authorities like the FDA.
Davidovitch also said that Israel also remained at the forefront because of the country’s early and effective rollout of the vaccine.
He also said that they had also not hesitated in seizing an opportunity for conducting research and publishing it.
He also gave credit to Israel’s culture of sharing data between the Ministry of Health, health funds and academia.
He went on to say that this success should result in more investment in medicine and academia in Israel because it could facilitate more collaborations in the future.