Report: Health Ministry to back vaccines for recovered COVID patients

Health officials set to deliberate on plan to allow recovered COVID patients to get vaccine 3 months after recovery.

David Rosenberg ,

COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine

Israeli health officials are weighing a plan which would allow recovered coronavirus patients to get vaccinated for the virus, despite having been exposed to COVID already.

According to a report by Channel 13 Thursday night, the Health Ministry is expected to back a plan which would enable recovered coronavirus patients to get vaccinated three months after their recovery.

Recognized recovered COVID patients are currently ineligible for the vaccine, but would under the new plan be encouraged to get vaccinated once the initial three-month period after their recovery is over.

Ministry officials are reportedly considering the plan following a number of cases of repeat infections.

Two recent studies, however, suggested that recovered COVID patients likely enjoy a high level of immunity following natural infection.

One study, conducted in Israel and led by Dr. Tal Brosh, chief of Assuta Hospital’s Infectious Disease Unit and a member of the governmental committee on distributing the coronavirus vaccine, found that COVID reinfections are extremely rare, despite measured antibody levels in commercially available serological tests declining sharply several months after recovery.

The study, which examined 12,000 health care workers who were infected with the virus, found that reinfections were rare even when antibodies were never detected at measurable levels in serological tests.

“A person who recovered is to be considered as being immune, even if he has received negative [antibody] serological tests,” the authors concluded, arguing that serological testing should be ended for recovered coronavirus patients.

A study conducted in Qatar tracking 43,044 people for up to 35 weeks found that just 0.02% experienced reinfection, suggesting that natural infection creates a high level of immunity for an extended period of time.