Health experts: Israel is reaching herd immunity against COVID

“We can say with confidence that we are on our way out of this wave,” Health Ministry director-general Nachman Ash said.

By Tobias Siegal, World Israel News

Head of Public Health Services Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis said on Tuesday during the annual Jerusalem Post conference that Israel was getting close to reaching herd immunity against coronavirus, Maariv reported.

Addressing the third wave of coronavirus in Israel, Alroy-Preis said that even then, “there were enough people who were vaccinated … to reach herd immunity,” which is why Israel was not in a hurry to vaccinate its younger population at the time.

“But with the Delta variant, infection rates became much higher, so the numbers we needed in order to reach herd immunity were higher as well,” she explained.

Now, Alroy-Preis said, Israel may once again be on the way to reaching herd immunity.

Similar comments were made by Health Ministry director-general Nachman Ash in an interview given to 103 FM Radio earlier Tuesday.

“We’re seeing that the statistics are dropping, yesterday as well. We can say with confidence that we are on our way out of this wave,” he said.

However, in the same interview, he also mentioned a new variant recently discovered in Europe – AY.4.2 – which may pose a new risk in the near future.

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“We need to learn what the clinical significance of each variant is,” Ash said. “I can’t say much right now. We will need to learn it and see if it’s dangerous to us or not,” he added, noting that some variants proved to be “significant,” like the Delta variant, while others were not.

On Thursday, for the first time since the beginning of the fourth wave, Health Ministry data showed that no COVID-related deaths had been reported in Israel in the past 24 hours.

The number of serious cases, which has been steadily declining for the last three weeks, reached 403 on Thursday, 60 cases less than the number registered only a week ago.