First positive results from vaccination reported from Israel
Wednesday, 27 January 2021
The Israeli health care service organisation Maccabi reported this week encouraging results from its vaccination campaign.
Among 128,600 clients who have received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, only 20 persons have been infected with the virus a week or more after the second dose, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Wednesday.
The preliminary data are very encouraging, according to Maccabi, noting that all 20 of those infected experience only mild symptoms and most were over age 55 and got infected following exposure to a confirmed carrier. According to the head of Israel’s Public Health Service, the current assumption is that the vaccine is effective for the majority of variants of the virus.
The result is the more encouraging taking into consideration that the infection rate is still very high in Israel due to returning citizens from red countries and wide-spread vaccination reluctance among the Jewish orthodox and Muslim communities where less than 50 % of people above the age of 60 have been vaccinated.
Despite a prolonged and tightened lockdown, and the on-going vaccination campaign during which already 2.7 million have received the first dose, the situation is still worrying with no clear exit from the lockdown in sight.
Worrying is also the unequal distribution of vaccines in Israel and its immediate neighbours, the Palestinians in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. Notwithstanding their political divergencies, both peoples are living next to each-other and sharing a common interest of being vaccinated, since no-one is safe until everyone is safe.