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Israel will strip more than a million citizens of their vaccine passports on Sunday, thus first country to regulate gunshots as proof of fully immunized status.
The decision, which spurred tens of thousands to get a third shot of the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine last week, is a final push to get Israel out of its fourth wave of Covid-19 infections.
‘I believe the fourth wave comes to an end, ‘ said the director-general of the Ministry of Health, Nachman Ash, in a radio speech and attributed the success to the stimulant campaign. “We’re on our way, but I say it with caution.”
At the same time, the Ministry of Health data released that common side effects such as fatigue or pain in the arm were measurably lower after the third sting than after the first or second.
Israel, which was the first nation to use the Pfizer vaccine, used boosters prevent a restriction in August as the efficacy of the vaccine decreases and infections skyrocketed, especially among the elderly, who began filling Israeli hospitals with serious illnesses.
With the possibility that its hospitals could be exceeded, Israel offered to give third shots, first to the immunocompromised, then to the elderly and finally to the entire adult population before Pfizer or other international health agencies such as the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) studied the subject in full.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett outlined the virtues of booster shots, first to US President Joe Biden in late August, then to the UN General Assembly two weeks ago. Faced with the choice of another restriction or doubling of vaccines, “we chose the latter – we were a pioneer in the boost,” Bennett told world leaders. “Two months later I can report that it works.”
So far, Israel has excelled in offering boosters to the entire population of over 12, not just the clinically vulnerable. After a heated debate and strong proposals from the White House that the US would soon follow, the FDA restricted Pfizer shots to people over 65, those at serious risk and those at work where they are likely to contract many viruses in their daily routine. interactions.
In all cases, their second shots had to be at least six months ago, as in France, which was the first European country to start providing booster jobs to those over 65 last month. In the UK, boosts are offered for those over 50.
For Israeli health officials, the proof is in the pudding. Serious cases are now at a low of five weeks, the number of positive tests is at a low of seven weeks and the prospect of a restriction has evaporated. Schools are open, children over the age of 12 get the vaccine and the unvaccinated make the majority seriously ill and die.
“It’s good that the US and the UK are boosting their seniors,” a health official asked for anonymity to speak freely. “But it is a political decision not to follow Israel’s guidance, not a medical decision. That the vaccine is not good after six to eight months is no longer a secret. “
In Israel, reinforcement is now a necessity – those who were double-stabbed more than six months before must be given a third time to be eligible for the green health passes that provide access to pubs, restaurants, public places such as museums and at a large number of offices.
About 3.4 m took their third time, although almost 2 m and count are eligible. “It’s awful, and we’re forcing more and more vaccines,” said Etai Maltz, 38, who was waiting with his wife outside a clinic for a shot. ‘If they want to give it to the old or the unhealthy, it’s one thing – after that they want me to take a shot every month?