Delta spreads in Israel: Vaccinated are infected


The delta variant is spread in Israel, despite the fact that more than half of the population is fully vaccinated.

The Israeli health authority states that Pfizer’s vaccine does not prevent the delta variant from spreading in the country.

According to a new report, the vaccine has a 64 percent chance of preventing infection in vaccinated people.

Israel has come a long way with its vaccination. More than five million of the country’s nine million inhabitants are fully vaccinated, the vast majority with Pfizer-Biontech’s vaccine.

But that does not prevent the spread of infection from gaining momentum again, states the country’s health authority. According to a new Israeli study, Pfizer’s vaccine is less effective against the delta variant, reports among others Financial Times and Haaretz.

The vaccine’s effectiveness has dropped to 64 percent in preventing new infections in fully vaccinated, the Israeli health authority said on Monday. The effect against previous variants has been estimated at 94 percent.


Covidtester i Binyamina i Israel.

Photo: Ariel Schalit / TT NEWS AGENCY

The study is based on preliminary statistics regarding the vaccine’s effectiveness, which are continuously collected by the country’s health authorities.

“Delta is much more contagious, but does not seem to lead to much serious illness and death, especially now that we have the vaccine,” said Professor Nadav Davidovitch, who sits on the Israeli government’s expert advisory committee for covid-19, reports FT.

The number of cases has increased since Israel lifted all remaining restrictions on 1 June. It is the delta that dominates: the variant is behind 90 percent of all new covid cases in Israel in the last two weeks, according to the country’s health authority. In the two previous weeks, the delta variant was behind 60 percent of new cases in the country.

On Sunday, 334 new cases were registered in Israel. Many of those infected are young. The last time the country reported over 300 infections in one day was in early February.

On Monday, the country had close to 2,600 active cases, more than twice as many as last week. However, the health authority states that only 35 are considered to be seriously ill.


Man with mouth guard in Tel Aviv in Israel.

Photo: Oded Balilty / TT NEWS AGENCY

Works well against serious illness

However, there is a glimmer of light: the study indicates that Pfizer’s vaccine is 93 percent effective against serious illness and hospital stays.

The authority did not want to say anything about a possible third vaccine dose. However, they urged everyone, including the fully vaccinated, who had been in contact with an infected person to get tested for the virus.

The statistics were presented on Sunday by the health authority’s epidemiologists. At the same time, experts have expressed some doubts regarding the analysis of the spread of infection in the country in recent weeks. Some of the health authority’s epidemiologists have also questioned the analysis, Haaretz writes.

British health authorities have previously reported that Pfizer’s vaccine is less effective against the delta variant, albeit to a lesser extent, writes FT.

The British Public Health Agency stated in May that the vaccine is 88 percent effective against symptomatic infections of the delta variant, and 93 percent effective against the alpha variant first discovered in Kent. According to the same study, Astra Zeneca’s vaccine, which is widely used in the UK, protects even worse against the delta variant with an efficiency of 66 percent.


Holocaust survivors with mouth guards in Israel.

Photo: Ariel Schalit / TT


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