Israel reopens economy, People in Israel are one step closer to returning to normalcy
as the country’s economy began reopening after almost half the population received
coronavirus vaccine shots.
The country’s world-beating vaccination program has led to the number of hospital
patients over the age of 60 visiting to fall drastically compared to younger people.
While shops are now open to all in Israel, the public must carry a vaccine passport if they
want to visit gyms, hotels and theatres.
The innovative ‘green pass’ is issued to those who have had both doses of the Pfizer
vaccine more than a week prior or recovered from Covid-19 with presumed immunity.
They will have their ‘Green Pass’ status displayed on a Health Ministry app that they must
present at certain venues.
The vaccine, which was rolled out in a national immunization program that began on
December 20, was 89.4 percent effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed infections,
according to a copy of a draft publication reported in Der Spiegel.
The fall in Israelis over the age of 60 attending hospital with Covid-19 is a dramatic show
of how effective the Pfizer vaccine is, with Israel’s health ministry announcing that the
risk of illness from Covid-19 dropped by 95.8 percent among people who received both
shots of Pfizer’s vaccine.
The jab was also 98 percent effective in preventing fever or breathing problems and 98.9
percent effective in preventing hospitalizations and death, the ministry added.
The positive steps have implications for Britain where data suggests that the roll-out of
vaccines to the older age groups alongside lockdown restrictions are reducing death
‘The performance of the vaccine is really good news,’ epidemiologist Mark Woolhouse of
Ediburgh University told The Observer. ‘You never quite know how clinical trials will
translate in a true mass vaccination program.
‘But the numbers are looking very good. The vaccines protect very well against severe
disease.’ Israel’s Prime Minister announced at the weekend he expects 95 percent of
Israelis aged 50 and over to be vaccinated in the next two weeks.