After a change in policy, more than 1 million people in Israel will lose their Green from Sunday onwards because people are now required to have a third booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, six months after their second dose. On Monday, the figures provided by the Health Ministry indicate that 4,710,716 people had been vaccinated with two doses six months ago. However, a booster dose has been given to around 3,243,641 of these people. Even if we deduct the hundreds of thousands of people who have contracted the coronavirus in the last six months, which means they wouldn’t require a third dose, the number of people who will lose their Green Pass will still be above a million.
The pass will only remain valid for a week after people have received the last required dose, and for six months after that. Those who have recovered from the coronavirus, or have been vaccinated are granted this document. This Green Pass enables them to access a number of events and public places, including museums and restaurants. A negative virus test can be used for getting a temporary Green Pass, but the individual has to pay for the test, unless they are deemed ineligible for vaccination.
In another announcement this week, the ministry said that a single coronavirus vaccine dose would be mandatory for those who have recovered from COVID-19 after their diagnosis. This will ensure their eligibility for a Green Pass. Under the previous policy, all those who had recovered were eligible. Moreover, beginning Monday, all those people who have been infected after receiving the vaccine will only be permitted to keep their Green Pass for six months. Then, those cases would be re-examined by the ministry. Israel is the first country to have launched the third booster shot of the vaccine.
They initiated their campaign from August 1st and the booster shot was first made available to people over the age of 60. Gradually, the eligibility age for the dose was dropped, and eventually it was made available to everyone aged 12 and above, who have gotten the second dose of the vaccine at least five months ago. On Sunday, the coronavirus cabinet in the country will also meet for the first time in months. As per reports, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is not prepared to impose any further restrictions in the country, despite the high number of COVID deaths.
Since the last meeting of the coronavirus cabinet, more than 600 people have died because of COVID-19. There has been a fall in the number of serious cases in the country, which is attributed to the rapid vaccination campaign. The R number, which refers to the virus’s basic reproduction rate, has fallen below 1, which indicates that the spread is slowing down. While the number of daily cases in Israel have been high in the fourth wave due to the Delta variant of the coronavirus, the number of people that need to be hospitalized is less than before because of the vaccine.