During a meeting of the Knesset's Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee, MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) said that the yeshiva world is suffering a serious outbreak of a virus, with some yeshivas experiencing 80% morbidity.
"Right now there is an outbreak of a virus in the yeshiva world, and it's reaching up to 80% of the students in many places," Maklev said. "Is it connected to coronavirus? Or did the vaccines cause a stronger outbreak of flu?
Dr. Ilana Gans, a senior Health Ministry official, said that in her opinion there is no connection between coronavirus and the vaccines, and the infuenza making the rounds in the yeshivas.
"Last year there was no outbreak because we had a lockdown, there was social distancing, so people did not become ill with flu," she explained.
"Right now, less than 30% of yeshiva students are vaccinated for flu."
"It's difficult to differentiate between respiratory illness caused by flu and that caused by coronavirus," she added. "This really burdens the testing system. Our recommendation is to do a coronavirus test. Even though it burdens the hospitals."
Maklev queried how the Omicron strain of COVID-19 affects vaccinated individuals, and a Health Ministry representative presented data showing that the vaccinated are more immune to Omicron.
"If the entire public was vaccinated, the restrictions would be completely different, and much lighter," Maklev said. He added that in light of this, those who do not get vaccinated "owe others" and are obligated to get vaccinated, since because of those who don't vaccinate, the entire public is restricted.