Israel’s Covid Booster Rollout Shows Early Success As Cases, Hospitalizations Plummet

As new cases and hospital admissions drop following a worrying wave of the virus in recent weeks, the mass distribution of Covid-19 booster shot in Israel seems to be working as intended. This is a good sign for countries such as the U.S. who are launching their own booster rolls.

A third booster shot of covid vaccine is administered by an Israeli medic to a member... [+] at Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital on August 15, 2021. AFP via Getty Images

The Key Facts

This is a threefold drop from September 14th, when Israel was reporting over 11,000 cases per day. After months of rising numbers, hospitalizations are now at an average 1,066 admissions per day. This is 21% less than the 1,355 daily reported at the end August. According to data from the health ministry, Israel has given out more than 3 million booster doses. This shift in Israel's pandemic trajectory is due to this. Late Thursday, the ministry announced that it had found nine cases of myocarditis in 1.5 million people who had received the third vaccination. Experts fear this rare form of inflammation could become more widespread by boosters. The ministry stated that 25 of the more than 3 million Israelis who received a top-up vaccine reported severe adverse reactions within 30 days. However, a causal link has not been established for many.

Important Background

After seeing infection rates drop to double figures in May and June, Israel reported a sharp increase in Covid-19, including severe cases, in July. This was attributed to an emerging trend and the highly infectious delta variant of the virus. Israel continued its tradition of moving ahead of other countries in coronavirus measures and introduced boosters in July for those most at-risk groups. This was five months after receiving their second dose. The rollout was extended to all people over 12 years in August.

Big Number

62.3% This is how many Israelis have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Bloomberg's vaccine tracker shows that 67.5% of them have received at least one dose.

What to Watch

The U.S. is currently developing its own booster program. Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approved additional doses of Pfizer vaccine to people over 65. This includes those at risk of getting seriously ill from the virus and those at higher risk. According to reports, the agency may also approve a half-dose of Modernas vaccine for booster purposes. Even though the number of cases, deaths, and hospitalizations in the United States is still high, a key FDA advisory panel recommended against giving booster shots for all Americans, citing a lack of evidence that they are necessary and safe.

Continue reading

CDC Decision on Using Covid-19 Booster shots for Different Vaccines by Late October (Forbes).

Side effects of Covid-19 Vaccine Booster Similar to Second Dose, CDC Study Says. (Forbes).

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