After leading the world in COVID-19 vaccinations per capita, experts say Israel is the first country to achieve herd immunity
Although its vaccination campaign slowed down in recent months, Israel continues to lead the world’s fight against COVID-19 with almost 60 percent of its population fully vaccinated. Of those remaining, the vast majority are under the age of 18. Due largely to the great success of its swift and effective inoculation drive, the number of new daily COVID-19 cases in the country continues to decrease, which spurred the Israeli government to lift major restrictions on movement – one of the first countries in the world to do so. According to experts, Israel’s success stems, in large part, from the ability of its centralized, efficient and advanced healthcare system to rapidly distribute vaccine shots.
In the coming days, the Israeli Health Ministry is expected to approve the vaccination of children aged 12 and over following a similar approval by the FDA.
“We have reached herd immunity in Israel without vaccinating children,” said Prof. Gili Regev-Yochay, Director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit at Sheba Medical Center, who added: “The recommendation at the moment is to vaccinate the youth, but anyone can take it on a personal level and decide for themselves, there is no need to mandate their vaccination.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Health Minister, Yuli Edelstein, recently announced that Israel will not extend most domestic COVID-19 restrictions as the infection rate remains low throughout the country.
Edelstein said the decision, which will end all indoor and outdoor caps on gatherings, came following rigorous consultations with Health Ministry officials.