Israeli health officials have sounded the alarm and have predicted the winter season to be a potentially dangerous one because of a combination of cases of flu and COVID-19.
The Health Ministry’s public health services’ head, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, said on Thursday that vaccinations remained the best possible weapon for dealing with both viruses.
She said that predictions indicated Israel would see another wave of COVID infections in October and November. She said that the combination of flu and COVID could become a problem.
She added that they were making preparations for such a situation in terms of vaccines that can be administered together.
Alroy-Preis stated that flu vaccines for the year were scheduled to arrive in the country in September.
On Thursday, an unnamed health official said that the country was exploring the idea of buying COVID vaccines that are specifically tailored to address the new variants of the disease.
The official also stated that flu and COVID vaccines would be simultaneously administered to those above the age of 60 or considered high-risk.
COVID vaccine campaign
Even though there has been a dramatic slowdown in Israel’s COVID vaccine campaign, there are hundreds of people who still get the shots on a daily basis.
There were a total of 186 people in Israel who were administered the fourth shot of the vaccine on Tuesday, while 83 received the third dose.
The second dose was given to 82 people and there were also 81 people who received the first shot. This figure had been close to 750 doses of the vaccine in a single day back in late July.
Statistics indicate that almost 72% of people in Israel have received at least a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and two doses have been given to 66% of the people.
Likewise 48% people have received the third shot, while there are also 9% of people who have also gotten the fourth dose.
According to Alroy-Preis, Israeli health officials were monitoring the situation all over the world, especially countries that are already experiencing winter.
She said that looking at the other parts of the world was one of their best tools and what they have found so far is not exactly reassuring.
She said that Australia’s winter season had seen a serious wave of COVID and flu cases and the rate of hospitalization had been high.
She said that currently the rate of COVID cases in Israel is on the low side. Alroy-Preis said that they are aware that COVID is here to stay.
But, she added that they need to make adjustments in accordance with the ups and downs seen in infection numbers.
As of Thursday morning, statistics showed that the total number of active COVID-19 cases in Israel stood at 18,335.
There were 583 patients who had been hospitalized and 199 of them were in serious condition. The last week has seen 18 people lose their lives to COVID-19 and the death toll has climbed to 11,524.