30 Aug 2021
Israel Pushes for Booster Shots amid Rising Cases
The Index Today
Israel is seeing a record-high increase in daily coronavirus infections, urging lawmakers to encourage vaccine booster shots throughout the nation. Around 63% of the population has been vaccinated due to the fast vaccine roll-out program initiated earlier this year.
However, upon easing of restrictions in July, the country saw cases rising and masks were re-imposed soon after. Despite the high vaccination rate, new cases have surpassed 12,113 with 25 deaths recorded.
According to earlier data released in July, the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine only had an effectiveness of 16% against infection for those who took two-dose in early January. For all those being vaccinated in April, the effectiveness of the vaccine grew to 79%.
In July, the government began offering third doses of the vaccine to help combat the growing cases. This booster program will be open for anyone above the age of 30.
According to Professor Gideon Schreiber at Weizmann Institute of Science, a vaccination booster program will make a huge difference. He also stated that we will see a huge decline in the number of cases in a matter of weeks.
Israel is hoping to avoid any drastic measures to minimize rising cases including lockdowns. Health minister Nitzan Horowitz said, “I don’t want to impose a lockdown and I will avoid a lockdown at all costs. Everything is open – but we need masks and we need vaccines.”
The country aims to improve immunization through the vaccine booster shot and reduce infections. Bringing down the number of severely ill people will help ease the burden on the healthcare system and improve treatment services for everyone.