Tel Aviv (dpa) – Given the increasing number of infections, Israel wants to be the first country to give people over 60 a third dose of vaccine against the corona virus. The so-called Green Pass is also valid again.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Thursday evening that this applies to patients who received their second dose of vaccine at least five months ago. A team of experts in Israel had previously recommended such a booster vaccination with the Biontech Pfizer preparation, although there is still no corresponding FDA requirement.
Bennett said the vaccination campaign with health insurers should start in a few days. “I am calling older people who have already received the second dose to be vaccinated for the third time,” he said. “This protects against serious illness and death.” So far, several hundred people with immunodeficiency in Israel had already received such a third dose.
The background to this are figures from the ministry, according to which the effectiveness of the Biontech/Pfizer vaccination used in Israel has declined sharply since the beginning of June. According to the ministry, the vaccination prevents corona infection by only 39 percent and serious diseases by 91 percent. At the same time, the more contagious Delta variant is spreading in the country, it said. However, government experts also criticize the fact that the effectiveness figures are not collected scientifically.
In the spring, the vaccination was said to have prevented 95.8 percent of the corona disease. Hospital admissions, serious illness and death would be prevented by about 99 percent.
The number of new corona infections reported in Israel within one day has crossed the 2000 mark for three days in a row. The Ministry of Health reported 2,165 new infections for the previous day on Thursday morning. 159 corona patients are seriously ill. More than 57 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.
Due to the increasing number of corona infections, the Green Pass has been back in force in Israel since Thursday. At gatherings of more than 100 people, participants over the age of twelve must show a certificate of vaccination or recovery or a negative result of the corona test. This applies to sports and cultural events, but also to fitness studios, restaurants, conferences and places of worship.
The Green Pass, which brought relief to those who had been vaccinated and those who had recovered, was introduced in Israel in February. However, after a sharp drop in the number of infections, most restrictions were lifted.