On Wednesday, a senior vaccine adviser in the US said that health policymakers had found Israeli research to be very helpful because it had given them a ‘window to the future’.
He said that they had used it for shaping their policy regarding COVID shots and for showcasing the necessity of boosters.
According to Prof. Arnold Monto, it would not have been possible for the US to have the same quick turnaround or take fast decisions in terms of COVID research that Israel was able to achieve.
He said that Israel’s experience had come in handy for them to assess the different COVID policy steps that could be taken.
Monto spoke at an online seminar was especially referring to Israel’s decision of embracing the third and fourth shot of the COVID vaccine before any other country.
He is the chairman of the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee and said that experts in the United States had been able to see the value of booster shots, thanks to Israel.
As a matter of fact, boosting has become a prominent COVID policy all over the world.
The FDA adviser also talked about the use of real-world data in Israel for producing insightful studies. This data had been available due to the country’s meticulous and centralized digital record-keeping.
He stated that Israel should continue doing so and it could also help the US in shaping its policy on topics other than COVID as well.
Monto said that if researchers continue the same way, the healthcare in Israel and its unique characteristics could have a major impact on the American health policy.
He added that COVID had shown what can be accomplished when everyone is working towards providing the type of information that Israel was able to generate, all from skilled scientists.
The online seminar where Monto was speaking was regarding a research paper, which showed that Israeli scientists had written about 15% of the most influential studies in the world on COVID-19 vaccines.
The Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research and the Israel Journal of Health Policy Research had convened the event.
A veteran epidemiologist Monto discussed the studies and data from hospitals and healthcare providers in Israel.
He said that they had they had contributed to the conclusions in various ways and added that Israel had been ahead of the US in terms of administering booster shots.
He said that it was more poised to come to conclusions about the need for boosters, not just for preventing mild, but also severe infections.
Monto stated that immunity had waned quickly in the population, which had been unexpected and people realized boosters were necessary, thanks to Israeli data.
He said that this had first bene done for the high-risk population and then for everyone because immunity was waning for everyone.
He stated that there had been some skepticism initially about Israeli data, but its relevance had become evident because of the similarities in the demographics.