Highly vaccinated Israel recorded the highest number of daily CCP virus infections per capita this week as the country’s health ministry announced that on average, more than 10,700 new COVID-19 cases are being reported each day.
Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash said during a video call on Sept. 14 that the new figures are “a record that did not exist in the previous waves,” The Times of Israel reported.
“A week ago we were in a clear downward trend—in recent days we’ve been seeing that decline stop, and the virus reproduction number is [again] above 1,” Ash said. Values “above 1” indicate that the number of cases is increasing, while “below 1” means it’s shrinking.
Although positive cases are on the rise again, people who fell seriously ill from COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, declined compared to the numbers of previous weeks. Ash noted that on average, people who fell seriously ill increased daily by around 70 to 80 new patients.
Israel, which has mainly used the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech vaccine, has so far fully inoculated about 5.56 million people, or 61.45 percent, according to data by Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.
Last week, Ash said the number of people who have not received any vaccine dose yet has fallen to less than one million. Israel has a population of 9.3 million people.
The country began offering COVID-19 booster shots to children as young as 12 on Aug. 29, and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said a campaign that began in July among seniors has slowed a rise in severe illness caused by the Delta variant. Currently, about 2.7 million Israelis have accepted the booster vaccine.
On Sept. 12, Ash said while speaking during an interview with Radio 103FM—the country is working towards ensuring it will have enough COVID-19 vaccines for a potential second round of booster doses, although a recent study from several top scientists at the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that the general population doesn’t need a booster dose.
“Vaccines fade over time, and after six months, they significantly decline while people become infected even after two vaccines,” Ash said, answering a question on the possibility of a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose. “We don’t know when the vaccine will be approved, I very much hope it will not be within half a year like this, but the third vaccine will last longer. We are starting to prepare so that we have stockpiles of vaccines if necessary,” he continued.
The WHO urged countries earlier this month to hold off on giving COVID-19 booster shots through September so poorer nations can provide citizens with their first dose of the vaccine.
Salman Zarka, the director of Ziv Medical Center in Safed who joined Ash during the Sept. 14 meeting, said that 50 percent of confirmed cases on Sept. 13 were among children, adding that the country is working on the assumption that it will possibly in the future need to deal with a fifth CCP virus wave.
Israel reported a total of 32 deaths on Sept. 15, according to Johns Hopkins. The death toll since the start of the CCP virus pandemic reached 7,438.