The Ministry of Health fears that those who were vaccinated early against COVID may not be protected at this stage from the Delta variant.
Yediot Aharonot reported that Dr. Arik Haas recently presented to Ministry of Health the aggregate data concerning the growing number of Delta variant infections. The data, which were presented to the ministry's epidemic treatment team, indicate there is a growing correlation between those vaccinated early - usually in January - and new infections.
However, according to these data, protection against serious illness has still been maintained in the meantime.
Pfizer, the manufacturer of the most commonly used COVID shot in Israel, wrote in the margins of a statement published over the weekend that the data coming from Israel "corresponds to the ongoing analysis of the company's Phase 3 trial" - meaning that even in Pfizer's own trial studies, infections of those fully vaccinated were observed.
In its announcement, Pfizer also called for seriously considering a third vaccine shot against COVID. The announcement sparked outrage in the US and the Centers for Disease Control issued a statement asserting that US citizens vaccinated with two shots do not need another one.
Many researchers in Israel who are not affiliated with the Ministry of Health also doubt the conclusion raised before senior officials of the Ministry of Health.
Prof. Ran Blitzer, head of innovation at Clalit Health Fund, wrote in response, "I have not yet seen convincing evidence about giving a third dose to anyone. The quote that most cases of vaccination occurred in January-February vaccines does not help, since 80% of vaccinated Israelis received their first dose in those months."