Now that vaccination no longer protects against infection...
Now that vaccination no longer protects against infection... Health Ministry

On Saturday night, the government's expert advisory committee on Covid-19 met and after discussion, resolved to recommend to the government that the Green Pass restrictions not be renewed when they expire next week.

According to a report in Behadrey Haredim, the position of the experts is that, "Booster shots are sufficiently preventative against serious illness, but with the Omicron variant, vaccines are insufficiently protective against infection."

According to members of the advisory committee, the situation in which gatherings under Green Pass restrictions were considered safe due to the fact that all those present were vaccinated, no longer prevails; such gatherings are no longer considered "safe" in that those present are not protected against being infected by COVID. Therefore, a feeling of security in such situations is potentially dangerous, as it could lead to those present not taking proper precautions against contagion. In addition, there no longer exists any justification for barring those who are not vaccinated from such venues.

All the same, the advisory committee recommended that, "The Green Pass system should be preserved and incorporated into a system that includes negative antigen tests such as are being used in schools." The practical meaning of this is that people who are not vaccinated may gain entrance to public venues via display of a negative virus test.

In addition, the expert committee recommended several measures designed to enable populations at risk to protect themselves, such as allowing them to use their sick leave to remain home from work in the next few weeks while the virus wave peaks, without needing a doctor's note in order to receive compensation, and allowing children to stay home from school likewise without medical authorization.

"We need to take into consideration the new paradigm, while keeping an eye on the evolving situation over the next few weeks," the committee concluded.

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