“There’s little chance that we’re going to see another big outbreak of coronavirus,” a senior Health Ministry official said on Friday morning.
Dr. Tal Barosh, coordinator of the epidemic control department within the Health Ministry, was speaking on GaleiTzahal when he insisted that the likelihood that Israel is about to see coronavirus statistics skyrocket is extremely low.
“There's very little likelihood that there's going to be a big breakout now, in terms of high contagion rates and numbers of fatalities,” he said.
He added that, “We weren’t surprised to discover that people who were fully vaccinated are among those contracting coronavirus now. Around the time when we emerged from the third wave of the virus, there were hundreds of vaccinated people contracting Covid-19, and some of them even died. So of course we're seeing that again now.”
On Wednesday, Dr. Sharon Alray-Price, head of Public Health Services, revealed that as many as half of the 891 new cases detected in the last month were fully vaccinated people, who received both doses of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine. A Channel 12 report noted that in the months since the vaccine was first rolled out, almost 7,000 fully vaccinated people are confirmed to have contracted Covid-19, infecting a further 3,133 people.
Later that day, Covid Czar Prof. Nachman Ash admitted that, “At the present moment, it is impossible to state that we are in control of the outbreak,” and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett convened a panel comprised of experts in the field along with the heads of the country’s various health organizations, and outlined steps his government intends to take.
“Our aim at the present moment, first and foremost, is to protect Israeli citizens from the Delta strain that is running amok around the world,” Bennett said at the meeting. “We have decided to take immediate action in order to avoid paying a heavier price at a later stage.”
The Prime Minister made no mention of booster shots as he listed eleven steps he wants taken to contain the current outbreaks, but Dr. Barosh suggested that the government may indeed take such a course of action.
“We currently have no data indicating that the efficacy of the vaccine has declined,” he said. “If we do find statistics suggesting such a thing, the right thing to do will be to advise a third shot of the vaccine.”