Israel Vaccinates more than Half of its Population But No Closer to Herd Immunity2 min read
Three months after Israel began its world-beating vaccine campaign, the Health Ministry has released figures which indicate that more than half of the Israeli population has received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine. Both doses have been delivered to around 4,655,955 Israelis, whereas 55.6% of the population, which is around 5,203,644 people, have gotten the first dose. However, these figures are still not good enough to achieve herd immunity, which estimates indicate would need 80% of the country’s population to be vaccinated. Furthermore, the R number, which refers to the COVID-19 infection rate, has continued to go down.
This indicates the number of people that can be infected by a coronavirus carrier and is currently at 0.55. The Health Ministry released some figures, which showed that a total of 470 new cases had been diagnosed on Wednesday, and of the total tests conducted that day, around 1.1% had turned out to be positive. In addition, there are 12,906 active cases in Israel currently and around 482 are considered serious. Israel had begun distribution of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine back in December and residents and citizens over the age of 16 had been eligible for it.
This accounts for about 69% of the country’s population, which is around 9.3 million. Those who have received the vaccination are considered fully protected, a week after they have received the second dose of the vaccine. Yuli Edelstein, the Health Minister, had announced the milestone in a statement amidst a continuous drop in the COVID-19 cases in the country. He called on the citizens to continue following the health guidelines to ensure the virus doesn’t return. He stated that around 50.07% of the whole population had been vaccinated with two doses, while a single dose had been administered to 55.96%.
‘Green Pass’ certificates are issued by Israel to those who have received both doses of the vaccine, along with the 8.7% of the overall population who have recovered from the disease with presumed immunity. These certificates help them get access to different leisure venues. There has been an 85% drop in the daily deaths due to COVID-19, a fall by 72% in critically ill patients and daily cases have reduced by 86% since the pandemic hit its third-peak in the middle of January. General Chezy Levy, the Health Ministry Director, said that he was expecting that the entire population that’s eligible for vaccination will be inoculated by May.
One-third of the country’s population is under 16, which means they cannot be vaccinated until the shot is declared safe for kids. The health ministry said this month that one jab could be administered to recovered COVID-19 patients at least three months after their recovery. The data reveals that the effectiveness of Pfizer’s vaccine in preventing death is 98.9% after the second dose has been administered. Data from Israel indicates that a person has a one in thousand chance of contracting the coronavirus after they have been fully vaccinated against it with Pfizer’s vaccine.