Covid: Israel’s Omicron spike could provide herd immunity, but it comes with hazards
According to Israel’s top health official, the increase in Omicron cases could lead to the country’s achieving COVID herd immunity.
Nachmann Ash stated that the country will pay a price for this and that instead, herd immunity should be achieved by vaccinations. Modellers have predicted that by the end of January, up to four million people might be sick.
Naftali Bennett, the Prime Minister, has recognised that his existing approach will not avoid a significant increase in infections. On Sunday, he announced that those over 60, as well as medical personnel, will be offered a fourth Covid-19 vaccine.
In 10 days, the number of confirmed daily infections in Israel has doubled to over 3,500, yet the number of deaths has not.
Herd immunity, according to Salman Zarka, the head of the health ministry’s coronavirus group, is not assured. Meanwhile, Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute, another government adviser, warned that the number of cases would soon outpace Israel’s testing capability, leaving the country unable to detect new infections.
He anticipated that between two and four million individuals would become infected in the next three weeks, but that fewer people would become very ill than in the last wave. He urged everyone to obtain their flu shots.
Around two-thirds of Israel’s population of over nine million people has been completely vaccinated, which the health ministry defines as having had a third dosage or a second dose lately. However, many people who are eligible for a third dose have yet to receive it.
For immunocompromised people and the elderly in care homes, Israel has previously approved a fourth vaccine dose. According to Our World In Data, barely over a quarter of Palestinians have been properly immunised.
Israel, Russia, China, the United Arab Emirates, and the global Covax vaccine-sharing organisation have all sent vaccination doses to Palestinians.
Israel’s failure to properly extend its vaccination campaign to Palestinians under its control has been criticised by UN experts.
The Israelis claimed that the Palestinians were in charge of health in the Palestinian Territories.