The first vaccination and the first gathering, Israel is now considering a lockdown

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Covid-19 vaccine update

In June of this year, when I was packing my luggage and preparing for a trip to London, I realized that I could not find a mask at home, nor in any store near Tel Aviv.

In Israel, one of the countries with the fastest vaccination rate and the highest vaccination rate in the world, no one needs this vaccine for several months.By mid-March, Israelis were partying The blockade is over By April, the masks more or less disappeared, turning this small country into a tantalizing glimpse of the post-pandemic future.

“Why wear a mask? The corona is over,” the grandmother of the grocery store near me said with a smile. When I rushed to the airport, she handed me a half-empty bag of masks, and she found it behind.

A month later, when I returned from London after one of my own Covid-19 (one of the early breakthrough cases in which the Delta variant was fully vaccinated), masks were everywhere.

The same is true for the coronavirus. Starting with dozens of daily cases in early June — even zero on June 9th — new Covid infections hovered around 6,000 twice this week, the highest single-day infection rate in six months.

Israel won early access to the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine supply in exchange for sharing national data on how mass vaccination drivers are affecting the pandemic. Israel is a closely watched indicator of where well-vaccinated advanced economies are headed.

After months of joy, the data from Israel is disturbing. The Israeli Ministry of Health has twice lowered the long-term efficacy of the jab-from the asymptomatic protection rate of 94% against the then dominant Alpha variant in the advertisement to the low protection rate for the now dominant Delta variant To 64%. .

As the number of new infections has soared, the long tail of hospitalization has also soared. Although people who have not been vaccinated are five to six times more likely to become seriously ill, the protection of the vaccine weakens the most for the oldest person who received the first injection as early as December—the most vulnerable person. quick.

At this rate, health officials predict that by early September, at least 5,000 people will need hospital beds, half of which have serious medical needs, twice the number that Israel can handle.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett faces the prospect of blocking the Jewish state during the holiday season, when grandchildren will take their children to the long weekend. Saftas, Allowing the country to bear more pain-a US$770 million emergency plan to double the hospital’s ability to deal with critically ill patients.

Bennett was honest with the Israelis when he announced the measure on Wednesday: the government is trying to ease the blow. On August 1, it began to provide a third dose of Pfizer vaccine to people over 60 years old, and began its own public health experiment because it fell into an unpredictable fourth wave. Bennett said: “We have to increase the capacity of the hospital to buy time until the vaccination campaign takes effect and the epidemic starts to be contained.”

So far 775,000 People have already received the third shot, and doctors say they can see a significant increase in the number of antibodies within a few days after the injection. Starting this weekend, people over 50 will have a third chance.

But health officials and 71-year-old former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained that Israel may have waited too long.

Netanyahu was the first Israeli to be fully vaccinated. As prime minister, he pushed Israel to the front line of Pfizer in a data-for-lens transaction. Eight months later, he saw his antibody count drop.

He began to appear before the Knesset wearing a double mask and asked Israel to approve booster shooting. “It’s better to be late than never,” he complained during the third shot.

For Israelis, the intensified injection reminds them to be at the forefront of Covid-19 vaccination. They celebrated when they were first stabbed, Cheering Pfizer As the blockade ended in March.

Now, they are the first to experience the limitations of the vaccine and the first to accept the inevitable long-term whispering-regular booster vaccination to stay protected.

At a grocery store near me, a huge sign is now hanging outside, reminding shoppers to wear masks. Less than two months ago, this friendly grandma was still working hard to prepare some masks for me. Now they are sold for a pack of 100.

If there is a lesson to be learned from Israel today, it is that the corona is actually not over yet. This summer is just an intermission. Next comes winter.

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