Massive vaccine collection in Israel not keeping pace with new cases – especially among young victims



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For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Israel now claims that more than a quarter of its most serious cases of Covid-19, where hospitalization is necessary, are in patients under the age of 60.

Israel’s Department of Health blames it squarely on a new strain first discovered in the UK last month.

Dr Itamar Grotto, associate director general of Israel’s Ministry of Health, explained: “This is because the new British variant is more contagious, mainly among young people and children.”

News that Israeli hospitals now have a record number of severe Covid cases arrived within 24 hours of the start of a “second dose” campaign by Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became the first to get his second shot yesterday.

Israel has been praised by the global health community for moving so quickly to immunize. So far, nearly two million Israelis have had their first injection, out of around 9 million people. Israel has a highly centralized health system, where everyone has to register on a digital system – making it easier for the health ministry to organize vaccine collection across the country.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu receives the second dose of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, near the coastal city of Tel Aviv, on January 9, 2021.

MIRIAM ALSTER | AFP | Getty Images

Despite success on the vaccine front, Israel is currently in its third national lockdown due to the spread of the virus. Without minimizing concern over the growing percentage of young people hospitalized with serious infections, Grotto, an epidemiologist, points out that nearly 70% of Israelis over 60 have now received their first vaccine offering them some immunity.

CNBC contributor and former director of the FDA, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, observes trends in Israel and Europe since the pandemic began a year ago, and uses them as a possible model of what could happen in the States- United, including the relatively recently discovered British variant.

“If we can deploy the vaccine, we can probably prevent it,” Gottlieb said, referring to the most dangerous strain and the fastest to spread.

He believes the recent and alarming spike in cases in the United States has more to do with travel and vacation gatherings, “but the bottom line is we don’t have a strong enough surveillance system to know for sure.” , said Gottlieb.

The British variant, he said, officially only accounts for 0.2% of cases in the United States. Gottlieb also warned that U.S. health officials are not yet researching as carefully as they should be the increasingly dangerous strain that is wreaking havoc in a busy South African healthcare system.

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