Rapid Vaccination Pays Off in Israel: Barely 15 Infections Per Day
Israel shows what a successful vaccination campaign and high herd immunity can mean in the fight against the coronavirus. In the country, where an estimated 70 percent of residents are immune, the number of new infections has fallen to just 15 a day.
Israel is one of the fastest-growing countries to embark on a large-scale vaccination campaign, and it is bearing fruit. An average of 15 corona infections per day was diagnosed in the country last week, the lowest number in more than a year. The decline is so encouraging that the Israeli government has lifted some of the latest corona measures. Businesses can go back to work at full capacity, and Israelis no longer have to present a vaccination certificate if they want to go to a restaurant, to a sports game or a concert hall.
In the country, no mouth mask has been mandatory in the open air for some time, the schools are completely open, and mass gatherings have already taken place. The only measure that still applies is the mouth mask requirement in public indoor areas, but according to Israeli health officials, this could be changed as early as next week. “This is likely to be the end of Covid-19 in Israel, at least in terms of the current virus variants we know,” Dr Eyal Zimlichman of Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s largest hospital, told Business Insider. “Clearly, we have achieved herd immunity.”
Scientists previously estimated that at least 70 to 85 percent of a country’s residents must be fully vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. Israel has now vaccinated about 60 percent of its population, or about 80 percent of adults. Vaccines have not yet been approved for children under 16. Dr Zimlichman estimates that a total of about 70 percent of Israelis are immune to the virus, either through vaccination or infection. “We now know that this is enough to achieve herd immunity,” it sounds.
One of the reasons for the success of the Israeli vaccination campaign, according to Zimlichman, is the vaccination pass system. People who could prove with the pass that they had been vaccinated or had recently tested negative were allowed to go to restaurants, museums, sporting events, fitness centers and so on. “Life became considerably easier once you were vaccinated, and that acted as an incentive for other people. They didn’t want to feel like second-class citizens.”