Tel Aviv: Once a forerunner in the global race to leave Covid-19, Israel is now one of the world’s largest pandemic hotspots.
According to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the country that was previously the first to vaccinate the entire population has the highest per capita payload of any time during the week. The global vaccination rate has meanwhile fallen into the league table.
The nation of 9 million became the test case for the reopening of society and the economy in April, when a large part of Europe and the USA were still under some supervision. Yet Israel is now showing how the calculation is changing in places where progress has been fastest. It is no longer just about whether people get coronavirus, but also about how badly they get it and to ensure that vaccines still work, as the highly contagious Delta variant threatens immunity.
More recently, it has taken the lead when it comes to vaccinating children and rolling up a boost of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after research indicates reduced efficacy over time. About 100,000 Israelis are vaccinated every day, the vast majority of them with a third shot.
“If you can sustain life without shutting down and avoid a very large number of hospitalizations and deaths, life is like with Covid,” says Eyal Leshem, a professor specializing in infectious diseases at Sheba Medical Center in Tel. Ha-Shomer.
Since April, Israel has been the first to 33rd case in Bloomberg’s vaccine detection of populations considered fully vaccinated. The program appeared amid hesitation from some in the Orthodox Jewish and Arab communities. About 61% of Israelis received two doses, lower than in European backlogs earlier in the year, such as France and Spain.
After the distribution of the Delta variant over the summer, Israel saw the cases increase, reaching a peak of 11,316 daily cases on September 11th. done during the last coronavirus wave, with a peak of 751 at the end of August, compared to 1,183 in mid-January. The trend is now downward.
Infections have increased due to the incidence of cases among vaccinated, especially children. There were also so-called breakthrough infections in those who were vaccinated, and the decrease in vaccine effectiveness.
That said, people who have not been vaccinated are responsible for more than ten times as many serious cases as those who have received two doses, which shows that even as immunity declines, shots provide protection.
For public health officials and politicians, the last chapter of the pandemic is to focus on ensuring that older people who are more at risk are protected while cases among children increase. The importance of this desire is heightened by the return of millions of children to schools last week and the Jewish New Year this week.
Epidemiologists say that cases have been declining among the more than thirty years already thanks to the reinforcements and restrictions on pubs and restaurants for the fully vaccinated. According to Ran Balicer, chairman of the government’s advisory panel, the highest number of new cases in recent weeks is among children under the age of 12. There is also a record level of testing.
“Declining immunity is a real challenge that every country needs to come up with a contingency plan to tackle,” said Balicer, who is also head of innovation for the Israeli health care organization Clalit. The data coming from Israel in the coming weeks will enable the world to determine the effectiveness of the boost-shot program, he said.
According to the Israeli Ministry of Health, at least 2.6 million people in Israel, according to the Israeli Ministry of Health, about 6% of the population on September 6 now received the booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. It rises to at least 64% for people in age groups older than 60. It is noteworthy that the booster shot is also available to anyone older than 12 who was vaccinated at least five months ago.
The game card is the return of schools. It could change the transmission dynamics and expose all age groups to infection due to children coming home with Covid-19, Balicer said.
The World Health Organization heat map places Israel in the top five in the wider European region. The rolling data show areas with the highest seven-day infestation rates in Scotland, where 68% of the population is fully vaccinated. Cases increased after the restrictions were lifted and schools returned from their summer holidays in mid-August.