Israeli nurses will receive a fourth dose of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine on December 27, 2021 at the Sheva Medical Center in Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv.
Jack Guess | AFP | Getty Images
According to a prominent Israeli doctor, three doses of vaccine are likely to provide adequate long-term protection against severe Covid-19.
Professor Eyal Leshem, an infectious disease specialist at the Sheva Medical Center in Israel, spoke to CNBC on the phone, and in the long run, two or three vaccination courses provide the majority of people with excellent precautions against serious illness. I expected to provide it. ..
“These boosters may need to be updated every few years, and in some cases annually, to adjust to the prevalent variant, but the less toxic as future variants will be seen in Omicron. If it turns out, you may not need a booster, “he said. “Therefore, those who were exposed to Omicron during this wave after a few doses of the current vaccine, or those who were exposed to other less virulent variants during future waves, are different. It may not require any booster immunity. “
Israel began a fourth vaccination at the end of last year for the elderly, some health care workers, and people with weakened immunity.
Reshem acknowledged that the scientific basis for the deployment of the fourth dose by Israel was not as strong as in the case of booster shot approval, but experts in case the antibody from the booster declined over time. Said that it had decided to take measures. Do so after the first two doses.
“There is little scientific data to suggest that the fourth dose significantly enhances protection against serious illness and hospitalization,” he told CNBC. “Therefore, it was not a robust data-based recommendation as ideally desired in clinical medicine, but an expert opinion-based recommendation. If there is no evidence, use expert opinion and always do it. Clinical medicine. “
Health officials in other countries are currently controversial as to whether a fourth dose of the Covid vaccine is needed.
Last week, UK vaccination authorities said the issue was still under consideration, but “there is no immediate need” to introduce a second booster. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people with severe immunodeficiency receive additional doses of the primary vaccine series and later boosters.
During December Pfizer CEO told CNBC Due to the highly contagious Omicron variant, a fourth dose may be needed sooner than expected.
but, WHO warned Deploying too many booster effects in rich countries can actually prolong the pandemic by depriving poor countries of access to vaccines.
Israel has embarked Aggressive vaccination program There was one of the fastest vaccine deployments in the world to curb the pandemic.
As of Sunday, about 71% of Israel’s population has been vaccinated with at least one Covid vaccine and 64% have been immunized with two vaccinations. Almost half of the population is given booster shots.
Those who received a second shot more than 6 months ago are no longer considered fully vaccinated in Israel, where booster shots are available to all people over the age of 12. From summer..
In Israel, individuals need to show vaccination status to enter certain places such as gyms, restaurants and museums. Or you need to show that you have recently recovered from Covid-19.
The country recorded 30,970 new cases of the virus on Sunday. It has the most positive tests in a day since the mass test was started.
In the week ending January 9, 136,569 Israeli people tested positive for Covid-19, an increase of 331% from the previous week.
According to official data, the R number of the virus (virus reproduction rate) is over 2, which means that the average infected person will infect the other two with Covid-19. R numbers above 1 mean that the epidemic is increasing exponentially.
Hospitalizations in Israel are also on the rise, but far from the peak of the pandemic. According to Our World in Data, there were 733 hospitalizations in the seven days to January 8, the highest number of weekly hospitalizations since the emergence of the Omicron variant. The hospitalization rate in Israel peaked in January 2021 and 1,985 people were hospitalized in a week.
However, the Israeli Omicron wave has left the dead stagnant.
On Sunday, one Covid-19 patient died in the country. The individual was vaccinated. On average, two people have died daily from Covid-19 over the past month. In late January last year, Israel recorded more than 60 deaths in one day.
Reshem told CNBC that the rate of serious illness and hospitalization could still rise. Usually, there was a delay between the ascending cases and the consequences.
“But I don’t think we’ll see the sharp increase expected in previous variants,” he said. Omicron “is inherently mild to most people, which may be related to viral biology. Affinity for the upper respiratory tract as opposed to the affinity for the lower respiratory tract that causes pneumonia. is”.
He also added that the high uptake of booster shots in Israel, and the country’s young population, are likely to curb a significant increase in severe illness.
According to Israeli doctors, the Covid vaccine program may end with a third dose
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