The state’s 24/7 campaign has meant many vulnerable populations, including about 70% of over-60s, have already received the prescribed two doses of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine. The country is injecting up to 200,000 people a day, and last week made the jab available to anyone over 35. Secondary school students aged 16 to 18 are also included, in the hopes of allowing them to sit exams.
Israel’s health ministry released its first official results last week, showing that only 317 out of 715,425, or 0.04%, of people became infected a week after becoming fully vaccinated against the disease – the time when increased immunity is expected to kick in. Of the vaccinated people who were infected, 16 had to be treated in hospital, or 0.002% of the total.
One domestic healthcare provider, Maccabi Healthcare Services, released an encouraging smaller study on Thursday. It revealed that out of 163,000 Israelis given both shots, only 31 were infected, compared with nearly 6,500 infections among a control group of unvaccinated people.