Corona third-party vaccinations: Israel is a prime example? |

Status: 01.11.2021 5:56 p.m.

About two months ago, Israel had an extremely high number of new infections. The incidence has now fallen below 50. Trend: falling. Does this have something to do with the booster vaccinations the government has been relying on since the summer?

By Benjamin Hammer, ARD-Studio Tel Aviv

There is a yawning emptiness in the Corona test center on Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. Only a few people are standing in the huge tent for a PCR test. About two months ago people waited here for hours. At that time, Israel had one of the highest infection rates in the world. The seven-day incidence is now below 50. Trend: falling further.

Benjamin Hammer
ARD-Studio Tel Aviv

Ran Balicer heads the research department of the Israeli health insurance company Clalit. He is convinced that the many third-party vaccinations have led to a decrease in the infection rate. “Israel was the first state to fully feel the effects of the declining protective effect only five months after the vaccination,” he says. “At the same time, the very contagious Delta variant appeared. And so Israel became the first state to carry out booster vaccinations widely to protect the population.”

Infection numbers decreased after booster vaccination

About ten days after the so-called booster vaccinations were available in an age group, the number of infections in these groups also fell. This emerges from a study in which the researcher was involved. This number should also prove the sense of the third vaccination: Only seven percent of all patients with severe courses had already received a third vaccination dose. All the others were not vaccinated or were vaccinated less often.

Roni Gamzu is also convinced of the success of the booster vaccinations. He heads the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv and is a former Corona commissioner for the Israeli government. The booster vaccinations would have worked “100 percent”, he says. He recommends the vaccination especially for people over 40 years of age. Because he also observed severe courses in younger patients. Four out of nine million Israelis have now received a third vaccination. Including children and young people from the age of twelve.

Nevertheless, Israel is no longer a “vaccination world champion”

Not everyone was vaccinated quite voluntarily: Israel is withdrawing the so-called green passport from all citizens, the last dose of which was more than six months ago. So if you still want to go to a concert, for example, you need the third dose in many cases. Nevertheless, by international comparison, Israel is by no means a “world champion in vaccination”. A relatively large part of the population has not yet received a third-party vaccination. Others are completely unvaccinated.

This worries Eran Segal, a researcher at the Weizman Institute in Rehovot: “At the moment it should still be our main task to reach people better,” he told the Ynet portal. “So 650,000 people who have not yet been vaccinated. In addition, 1.5 million who should receive a booster vaccination. The number of those who refuse to be vaccinated is actually very small.” Segal says he thinks the main mistake early in wave four was “that it took too long for people to get the booster vaccine.”

Death threats against a ministry employee

But anti-vaccination demonstrations are also taking place in Israel. You speak of a witch hunt for the unvaccinated. Many protest loudly but peacefully. However, some opponents of vaccination cross a limit. Sharon Alroi-Preis, a high-ranking employee in the Ministry of Health, receives death threats and now needs a bodyguard. “It comes in waves,” she told TV channel 13. “They are directly related to the vaccinations. Whenever there is something new about the vaccinations, there is a wave of threats and insults.”

Israel is currently examining whether five to eleven-year-old children can also be vaccinated against the coronavirus. There is much to suggest that Israel, which was faster than any other country when it comes to third party vaccinations, is also making progress with vaccinations for younger children. Before that, the question should be discussed in the Israeli parliament. In public. The government knows: Corona vaccinations for smaller children are also a very emotional issue in Israel.

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