COVID vaccine only 64% effective against Delta variant – Israeli research


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Over the past month, the coronavirus vaccine was found to be 64% effective against symptomatic Delta variant infection, the Department of Health reported on Monday. He then gave the green light to a recall for immunocompromised patients, as the coronavirus cabinet prepares to meet today to discuss new measures to tackle the new outbreak.

Although the ministry also reported that the inoculation’s ability to prevent severe morbidity has remained very high, currently standing at 93%, the cabinet is expected to discuss the possibility of further restrictions for the public.

Among other things, authorities will examine a scheme to bring back a version of the “green pass” for places and gatherings frequented mainly by unvaccinated or vulnerable audiences – such as children or the elderly. Until a few weeks ago, the green pass system limited access to certain activities to only vaccinated and cured individuals, or to children not eligible for a jab with a negative PCR test.

The move was recommended at a meeting of the coronavirus vaccine advisory committee on Sunday evening.

According to Israeli media, health officials will also recommend requiring additional testing for all those entering Israel from abroad after four days, as well as expanding the list of countries from which inbound travelers are required. to quarantine themselves even if they are vaccinated or recovered.

The list currently only includes a limited number of countries that are banned from travel: Argentina, Brazil, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa. If the recommendation were accepted, the number of countries would increase dramatically to include all those currently on travel advisory, but having no practical consequences for travelers, such as Turkey, Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates.

The government should also step up the crackdown on those who do not wear their masks in closed public spaces.

According to an advisory board member who spoke to The Jerusalem Post, health officials will not recommend reinstating the “Purple Ribbon” program, which has reduced the number of people allowed in stores and other businesses, among other restrictions.

As of 6 p.m. Monday, some 369 cases had already been identified, marking a new daily record for three months.

Some 343 new carriers of the virus were identified on Sunday, 0.7% of the 50,000 tests processed giving a positive result. Four weeks earlier, there were only six new cases, out of about 17,000 tests performed – less than 0.1% positive. In the last weekdays of the past week, around 300 to 320 new cases have been found per day. Experts believe that in the next few days Israel will register as many as 500 to 600 new carriers of the virus per day – and the number could rise further.

At the same time, since the start of the new outbreak, the increase in serious morbidity has been minimal. As of Monday, the number of serious patients stood at 35. Low in mid-June, it stood at 21. In April, with a similar number of active cases in the country, Israel had more than 100 of these. patients, and at the peak of the pandemic in January, there were more than 1,200.

In addition, in the past three weeks, only one patient has succumbed to the virus.

According to health officials, around 90% of current cases in the country are of the Delta variant.

Of those infected, nearly half are schoolchildren, a significant percentage of whom were already fully immunized – more than 40% last week.

IN THE PAST, health officials and experts have repeatedly pointed out that the vaccine was never known to be 100% effective, and in a country with such a high immune population rate – around 56% – it it was normal for some of them to catch the virus.

However, as reported, new data from the ministry revealed that as the Delta variant spread, inoculation appeared to have become less effective in preventing people from contracting the virus, although children are unlikely to and those vaccinated develop a severe form of the disease – which may help explain why the increase in morbidity has not been followed by an equivalent increase in severe cases – at least so far.

However, the rate of unvaccinated patients among those who are currently in serious condition is drastically decreasing. As of Sunday, patients with serious conditions who were not vaccinated were 57% – including a child and a pregnant woman. In recent months, they were almost 90%.

Among hospitalized patients, the rate was almost 53%.

Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center said that of the six patients hospitalized in their coronavirus ward, only one had not been vaccinated.

Four critically ill patients – all over the age of 75 – have been fully immunized, as has one woman who has just given birth and is in mild condition.

AS RECOMMENDED by the Corona Vaccine Advisory Committee, the Department of Health has decided to go ahead with offering a booster to people with compromised immune systems.

The ministry said it would not offer an additional Pfizer vaccine to the general public at this time, adding that no medical or regulatory body had recommended making a third vaccine, but that such a recommendation or approval did not. is not required.

“I have been pushing for a third dose of the vaccine to be given to those who are immunocompromised,” Prof. Galia Rahav, director of the infectious disease unit at Sheba Medical Center, told 103FM on Monday morning. “I’ve been trying to get it started for three months now and I hope it will happen in the next few days.

As to when a third shot might be available to the general public, Health Ministry director general Chezy Levy said in an Israeli radio interview Monday morning that it is unlikely to be imminent.

“In Britain they are talking about a third blow in September-October,” he said. “We’re not talking about it yet – certainly not in the next few days. “

The chief executive confirmed that experts discussed the matter on Sunday evening and acknowledged that antibodies were declining over time.

“We are aware of what is going on in the world, monitoring and testing the levels of antibodies in people who have been vaccinated,” Levy told Israel Radio.

The ministry will conduct two parallel studies. One will focus on vaccinated people who have been infected, looking at their age group, underlying medical conditions and more. The other will test for cellular immunity in the inoculated people through serological tests, which check the presence and level of antibodies in the blood.

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