Professor Cyrille Cohen, head of Immunology at Bar Ilan University and a member of the Israeli government's vaccine advisory committee, told UnHerd that he believes the Green Pass system would be canceled soon.
He said that "especially with the Omicron, we don't see virtually any difference [...] between people who are vaccinated and non-vaccinated - both can get infected with the virus more or less at the same pace."
"We have to look at the future," he also said. "We need better vaccines to prevent transmission. I'm all for a nasal vaccine, for example, that would be able to better mimic the immunity that we get from the disease."
"We have to take into account that the virus is still better at immunizing than the vaccine," Cohen said, adding, "but that doesn't mean I am encouraging people to go and get the disease" as a means of immunization.
Cohen said that while Israel still has a Green Pass system, "it's not too much enforced, let's face it, especially now with the Omicron. For example, a few days ago we canceled the Green Pass for malls. There's no longer a significance to that step of having a Green Pass in malls."
He said he believes the Green Pass will be canceled entirely soon, adding that "it's not a secret" that the purpose of the Green Pass is "not necessarily to prevent transmission, it's also to encourage people to get vaccinated."
"I don't want to touch upon the political aspects of the Green Pass. But this is a reality. So you get to a point where whoever wanted to get vaccinated, got vaccinated. I don't think that there is a point right now in maintaining a Green Pass, especially in the Omicron era."
Asked whether people who choose not to get vaccinated should stop being treated as scapegoats in the age of Omicron, he said, "I think that vaccination is a personal choice, and I always said I believe it is so. But that choice has some consequences. And here, there is a problem in society. If you are 50, 60, and you're saying I don't want to get vaccinated - I'm going to ask a provocative question - will you be willing to renounce the possibility of getting taken care of in hospitals? Because if you get into a severe disease, and we don't have enough beds to treat people, you will force doctors to decide between this 18 year old person that got vaccinated, but is most likely going to die, and this person that has more chances to live even if he's not vaccinated."
"I'm not telling anyone what to do, I'm just saying it's a very complex question."