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Monday, Sep 27, 2021
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An Israeli woman receives a third shot of COVID-19 vaccine in Tel Aviv.

Israel's COVID-19 surge shows the world what's coming next

Infections jumped because of the prevalence of cases among the unvaccinated
Israel, once a front-runner in the global race to move on from COVID-19, is now one of the world's biggest pandemic hot spots.

The country that was once predicted to be the first to vaccinate its entire population had the highest per-capita caseload of anywhere in the week through September 4, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Its world-beating inoculation rate, meanwhile, has tumbled down the league table.

The nation of 9 million became the test case for reopening society and the economy in April when much of Europe and the US were still in some form of lockdown. Yet Israel now shows how the calculus is changing in places where progress was fastest. It's no longer just about whether people get coronavirus, but also how badly they get it and ensuring that vaccines are still working as the highly infectious Delta variant threatens to undermine immunity.

More recently, it has led the way when it comes to vaccinating children and rolling out a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after research suggested reduced efficacy over time. Around 100,000 Israelis are getting inoculated every day, the vast majority of them with a third shot.

"If you are able to maintain life without lockdown, and to avoid very high numbers of hospitalizations and death, then this is what life with COVID-19 looks like," said Eyal Leshem, a professor specializing in infectious diseases at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Ha-Shomer.

Since April, Israel has fallen from first to 33rd in Bloomberg's vaccine tracker of populations considered fully vaccinated. The program plateaued amid hesitancy from some in the Orthodox Jewish and Arab communities. About 61% of Israelis have been given two doses, lower than in European laggards earlier in the year such as France and Spain.

Following the spread of the Delta variant over the summer, Israel has seen cases climb, reaching an all-time high of 11,316 daily cases on September 2. The number of people falling seriously sick and being hospitalized, though, has risen less than it did during the last coronavirus wave, peaking at 751 in late August, compared with 1,183 in mid-January. The trend is now downward.

Infections jumped because of the prevalence of cases among the unvaccinated, especially children. There were also so-called breakthrough infections in those who have been vaccinated, and the drop in efficacy of vaccines.

That said, unvaccinated people account for more than 10 times as many serious cases as those who have received two doses, showing that even with immunity waning, shots are providing protection.

For public health officials and politicians, the latest chapter of the pandemic is to concentrate on ensuring older people more at risk continue to be protected while cases are rising among children. The importance of that drive is heightened by the return of millions of children to schools last week, and the Jewish New Year this week.

Epidemiologists say cases among the over 30s are already declining thanks to the boosters and restrictions on bars and restaurants to the fully vaccinated. The highest rate of new cases in recent weeks is among children under the age of 12, according to Ran Balicer, chair of the expert advisory panel to the government. There's also a record level of testing.

"Waning immunity is a real challenge that every country needs to prepare a contingency plan to tackle," said Balicer, who is also chief innovation officer for Israeli health maintenance organization Clalit. The data coming from Israel in the coming weeks will allow the world to assess the efficacy of the booster shot program, he said.

As of September 6, at least 2.6 million people in Israel -around 28% of the population - have now had the booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to the Israeli Health Ministry. That rises to at least 64% for people in age brackets over 60. Significantly, the booster shot is also available for anyone over 12 who was vaccinated at least five months ago.

The wildcard is the return of schools. That could change the transmission dynamics and expose all age groups to infection because of kids coming home with COVID-19, Balicer said.

The World Health Organization's heat map puts Israel in the top five in the wider European region. The rolling data show areas with the highest seven-day infection rates are in Scotland, where 68% of the population are fully vaccinated. Cases surged after restrictions were lifted and then schools returned from their summer break in mid-August.

"If we look back a year ago, we virtually had no protection other than a complete lockdown," said Leshem. "Now, we have an open education system, fully open commerce, and despite over 50,000 cases a week, we are not seeing increases in the number of severe cases and hospitalization."
Comments

Mac 16 days ago
Harley, a D-dimer test will show if you've gotten micro-blood clots as a result of the injections.
See this: https://thetattyjournal.org/2021/07/24/vaccinated-against-covid-19-the-micro-blood-clots/
Btw, I got 'the Covid' and I'm in the so-called 'risk' group age-wise. Was sick with flu symptoms 2 days: chills and fatigue but no fever, cough, or sore throat. Took Z-pak and slept the whole time. For fluids, had plenty of fresh-squeezed lemonade with additional vitamin C in pill form, and ate mandarin oranges. (Frankly, the flu that overwhelmed Panama City in Aug-Dec. of 2016 got me far worse). But then something curious happened three days after I'd recovered: I lost my sense of smell and taste completely. Flu virus manipulated in the lab? You bet! (Stuffy nose usually occurs when you first get the bug). That was annoying, but it faded in 6-7 days and everything returned to normal. Blood test a week later showed I now have anti-bodies. And I'll take every bit of that sturdy T-cell defense. (I'm truly sorry to tell you that these injections destroy T-cells). If you can, get that D-dimer test, just in case. If you do end up showing, try an anti-inflammatory diet: fresh veggies and fruits, good protein (nothing fried or processed), and vitamins (B, C, D3, magnesium, zinc, a good multi-vitamin). Recommend garlic and raw onions for the health of the respiratory system. As for supplements, algae are superb at staving off ADE. I've taken Spirulina for 2 decades since it's chock-full of nutrients and it also regulates blood sugar. Spirulina in powder form can be purchased in Panama pharmacies that sell vitamins. I also hear that pine needle tea full of shikimic acid will also help. However, I've no experience with it since not all pines are created equal.
If you've gotten one shot, don't get two. If you've gotten two, don't get three (the so-called 'boosters'). The effects are cumulative. I'd try boosting the immune system instead. (Btw, my brother went ahead and got the shots. So, to me, this is no laughing matter). I wish you the best.
harelyrider 16 days ago
I got what you call the clot shot. Guess what? No clots. Go figure.
Oh ya 17 days ago
So the people of Israel line up for the clot shot to stop a virus that they say is a spike protein by injecting more spike proteins into their bodies. And seeing the first 2 shots did not work now doing the 3rd and already talking about the 4th. Cant fix stupid. The world is cleaning itself of useless eaters everywhere. Build a barrier around yourself so when you friends and family members who took the jab start dying you can just let it go like water off a ducks back, or else you will start to feel guilty

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