In the spring, before the Delta variant appeared, Israel was the first country in the world to achieve collective immunity against Covid-19, at least close enough to victory. It wasn’t until June that the country gradually lifted restrictions on gatherings, abandoned the green passport system that allowed access to public places, and finally gave up wearing masks indoors. At the same time, the number of new cases continued to decline, approaching zero.
But at the end of a carefree summer, facing the fourth wave of epidemics, the country found itself vulnerable. There are nearly 578 critically ill patients in its hospital. The spread of the virus in the general population is impressive (an average of 6,300 new cases in 7 days), and there is concern that in September, the Jewish religious holiday, the number of hospitalizations will double. The healthcare system may be close to the point of collapse in January. The quality of treatment not related to Covid has been declining.
“We may be very close to mass immunization from March to April. We are victims of pandemic fatigue. We believe that everything is over and we have won. However, if the children are not vaccinated, it is impossible to reach this threshold. “, Said Nadav Davidovitch, Dean of the School of Public Health of David Ben-Gurion University. Israel, with its young population, lowered the age of vaccine delivery from 16 to 12 in June“With the emergence of Alpha and Delta variants, the virus continues to spread faster and faster. The lesson we learned is that the vaccine is effective, but it is not enough”, Summarize this scientist, a committee member who advises the government.
“The situation can be contained”
Israel is still reaping the results of the vaccination campaign launched at the end of 2020 at a rate unique in the world, which is very consistent with the American laboratory Pfizer, which tested the effectiveness of its vaccines there. In the summer, studies have shown that if the spread of the Delta variant can no longer be prevented, this vaccine can help limit its impact. Severe cases are still getting fewer and fewer, and the fatality rate is getting lower and lower. Israelis who have been infected in the past but have been asymptomatic also constitute a barrier against the virus.
However, over time, preliminary Israeli studies have shown that Pfizer vaccines lose their effectiveness, especially after more than five months. Therefore, the new Israeli government led by Naftali Bennett since June has bet that he firmly opposes the new lockdown measures. “It will ruin the future of the country.” Currently, he is betting his future on the distribution of the third dose. It will be available to people over 60 years old and at risk from July 30, and will be extended to people over 40 years old from August 20.
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