Eighty percent of adults were vaccinated, reducing the number of cases to 15 per day.


Israeli mask vaccine

Pedestrians walking along Tel Aviv Boulevard on April 18, 2021. Amil Cohen / Reuters

  • Israel lifted some of its last COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday as the number of new cases dropped to 15 per day.

  • Some experts believe that Israel achieved herd immunity by vaccination of 80% of adults.

  • However, despite Israel’s strict travel restrictions, international travelers can still carry the virus.

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Israel is benefiting from the successful introduction of the vaccine as the United States rushes to encourage people to vaccinate.

The reduction in infections is so encouraging that Israel lifted some of its last remaining coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday. Companies are now fully operational and residents no longer have to prove that they have been vaccinated to enter a restaurant, sporting event, or entertainment facility.

Even before the new rules were enacted, Israeli schools were completely open, masks were no longer needed outdoors, and large-scale rallies were held across the country. Currently, Israel’s only barrier to normal life is the need to wear masks in public indoor spaces. According to Israeli health officials, this rule could be lifted next week.

“This is probably the end of Israel’s COVID, at least for the current strains we know,” said Dr. Eyal Zimlichman, Deputy Director of the Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s largest hospital. Has clearly reached herd immunity. “

Scientists previously estimated that: Acquire herd immunity ――The threshold at which the virus is not easily transmitted from person to person ――The country needs to vaccinate 70% to 85% of its inhabitants completely. However, Israel has so far vaccinated only 60% of its population, or about 80% of its adult population. Vaccines for children under the age of 16 have not yet been approved.

Jimrichmann said this is a sign that other countries can defeat the epidemic at similar vaccination levels. He said that about 70% of Israeli citizens are immunized against the virus by vaccines or natural infections. I presumed to have it.

“We are now convinced that this number is sufficient to generate herd immunity,” he said.

Israeli Vaccine Passport Creates Incentives

Vaccine passport Israel 4

Israelis arrive at a concert of vaccinated seniors at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv on March 5, 2021. Jack Goose / AFP / Getty Images

Experts expect the United States to follow Israel’s trajectory. To date, the United States has fully vaccinated 52% of adults and 41% of all populations.

But, April Kaiser Family Foundation poll It turns out that 13% of Americans do not plan to be vaccinated, while 15% are still awaiting a decision. Another 6% said they would only be vaccinated if their work, school, or other activity required a shot.

“We are optimistic about actually reaching 60%, but the daily reported doses have been declining since mid-April,” said Jorge Alfaro-Murillo, Associate Research Scientist at Yale School of Public Health. Told Insider. “Of course, the first person to get the vaccine will be more willing to get it.”

In the United States, an average of less than 1.2 million people are vaccinated daily in the peak of 3.3 million people in mid-April. The state is now encouraging people to vaccinate by offering lottery, vacation, or cash prizes.

The Israeli Green Pass system has allowed admission to restaurants, sporting events, museums, gyms and hotels only if the vaccination certificate or COVID-19 test is negative.

“Vaccinations made life much easier, which was another motivation for people,” said Jimrichmann. “They didn’t want to feel like second-level citizens.”

However, this is not the case in Palestinian territory. Less than 5% of the Palestinian population is fully vaccinated. (Palestinians in East Jerusalem have access to Israeli health insurance, but not for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.)

Several human rights groups against Israel Vaccine Palestinians right away.

“If the Palestinian community is under-vaccinated and new strains emerge that could evade vaccine protection, that would be a big problem,” said Alfaro Murillo.

Vaccines tested at a large rally in Israel

Israeli crowd

A crowded street in the Israeli town of Melon on April 30, 2021. Jack Guez / AFP / Getty Images

The Israeli vaccination campaign is virtually over.

“The number of people getting vaccinated is not increasing. It’s very rare at this point,” said Jimrichmann. “People who wanted to get vaccinated had more than enough opportunities for all age groups over 16 years old.”

Currently, national vaccination rates are being tested by large rallies.

Late April Tens of thousands of Israelis gathered in Galilee It is the largest rally in Israel since the pandemic began for the Jewish holiday Lag Bomer. Dozens of people were killed and about 150 were hospitalized due to the runaway at the event.

And last month, during the fierce clash between Israel and Gaza, many Israelis rushed into the air defense.

Meanwhile, infections continued to decline, with Israel’s average weekly coronavirus infection declining by 80% last month.

“When you come to Israel, you’ll feel like the country isn’t infected with the new coronavirus,” Eyal Reshem, an infectious disease specialist at Sheba Medical Center, told Insider.

Israel is still closed to most travelers

Israeli travel restrictions

Israelis and vaccinated tourists arriving at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel on May 23, 2021 will be tested for COVID-19. Jack Guez / AFP / Getty Images

Part of Israel’s success may be related to the country’s strict travel restrictions. Most tourists are still off limits, and travelers entering the country must be quarantined for two weeks and undergo a COVID-19 test on the ninth day of entry.

Israeli citizens need to obtain special permission to travel to nine countries with high infection rates or widespread coronavirus variants: Argentina, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine.

In contrast, the United States recommends that Americans avoid countries with high infection rates. Residents are allowed to return to the United States by presenting a negative COVID-19 test. Fully vaccinated Americans do not need to be quarantined after returning home.

“We are much larger than Israel and far more people enter and leave the country,” said Alfaro-Murillo. There is no sign that this will end until the whole world is in Israel’s current state. ” It was.

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