Coronavirus vaccine? Not in the next few months

Associate Director-General of Israel's Health Ministry tells Arutz Sheva that Israel has learned its lesson, won't need a third lockdown.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Vaccine (stock)
Vaccine (stock)
istock

Prof. Itamar Grotto, the Associate Director-General of Israel’s Health Ministry, warned that no vaccine will be available before the upcoming flu season starts.

Speaking with Arutz Sheva, Grotto said that it is unlikely that a vaccine will be ready for use in the next three months, urging people in high-risk groups to at least get vaccinated against the flu.

“There other developments, which we’re already using, like life-saving treatments,” Grotto told Arutz Sheva.

“Also in terms of testing we’ve advanced, and the rapid testing systems will allow us to open up the economy more. But regarding a vaccine, it’s going to take more time, because we need to do tests to prove that it is effective and safe.”

“We need to be more conservative on this, it is hard to see when there will be a vaccine, but I think it won’t happen in the next three months. So it is really important to get vaccinated against the flu. It won’t stop the coronavirus, but it will help with handling” the threat of being infected with both the flu and coronavirus simultaneously.

Turning to the specter of a third nationwide lockdown, Grotto was optimistic that Israel would not need to impose another comprehensive closure.

“I think that we have the tools, the ability, and the right public behavior in order to avoid going into a third wave and a third lockdown. But that is also dependent on our ability to cut the infection chains, as well as public adherence to the regulations.”

“The decline in the number of diagnosed infections during the holidays is no doubt due in part to the decrease in the number of tests, but even when we increase the number of tests we’re left with numbers which are about half of what we had during the peak, but we still have about 4,500 infections per day, and that is a lot more than what the country can handle in the long term.”



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