Israel: With 56% of its citizens vaccinated and another 15% recovered, Israel may have achieved the so-called herd immunity for covid-19, a stage in which exposure to a disease of those with the potential to manifest it is reduced by indirect protection. As for the situation in Palestine, there is no official data.
The calculation of the event is based on the rate of transmission of the pathogen, which, according to Eyal Leshem, director of the Institute of Travel and Tropical Medicine of Sheba, is estimated between 65 and 70% for the new coronavirus. So, considering that 9.2 million people received the immunizer and about 700 thousand overcame the condition and developed antibodies, the country is in a “comfortable” scenario.
“Now, we see a decline in the number of cases, despite the resumption of mass meetings and school activities after the third lockdown. Most of the people an infected person will encounter are immune. Compared to the last two lockdowns, after which there were increase of contamination, we witnessed, even so, a fall, even after the flexibilization “, details the scientist.
In any case, experts still consider uncertainties about the pandemic.
Precautions and hope
Israel has its borders closed to non-inhabitants of the region, released only to first-degree relatives of the residents. Caution is necessary, says Leshem, due to the lack of knowledge of what mutations in the new coronavirus can cause.
“As far as we know, the Pfizer vaccine is quite effective against different variants in preventing diseases and infections, although it can be a little less potent against the South African, at least in the laboratory,” he explains.
In addition, challenges are posed to children and unvaccinated adults, since immunizers were administered only to people aged 16 and over. In the coming months, however, the forecast is that, with the completion of necessary tests, adolescents aged 12 to 15 years will receive their doses – which will enable tourists to return to the territory.
“Israel is expected to be a very safe place for travelers due to our lower risk of transmission. The CDC and other public health agencies believe that for people who are fully vaccinated, traveling is a very low risk, especially if they do a PCR test before boarding planes “, ponders Eyal, who, citing the maintenance of the quarantine, emphasizes:” It is a reasonable risk-benefit ratio. ”
“There are no magic tricks here. If unvaccinated people travel without quarantine and complete tests, we will increase the risk of reintroducing the disease into the country,” he concludes.