Israel contemplating 5th Covid vaccine as number of infections rises

Over 19,019 Israelis tested positive in the past week, a 27.7 % increase over the previous week.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

Israel’s health system is contemplating the administration of a fifth Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, as the number of new cases has significantly risen in recent days.

The country’s Corona Supervisor, Professor Salman Zarka, stated on Wednesday at the 2042 Medicine Conference in Tel Aviv that “unfortunately, it seems that we are starting a new corona wave in Israel, the BA.5 wave, we are considering giving a fifth vaccine.”

The BA.5 is a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant. BA.5 was first detected in South Africa in February 2022, and since has become the dominant variant there together with the BA.4.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control stated in May that the observed growth advantage for BA.5 is likely due to its ability to evade immune protection induced by prior infection or vaccination, particularly if this has waned over time.

Fearing s sixth wave of infections in the country, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is slated to convene a special meeting on the issue on Wednesday evening.

According to the Ministry of Health’s data, a very high 20.38% of the COVID-19 tests done Tuesday returned positive, with 4,585 new cases.

The R coefficient, which indicates the spread of the virus, was registered in Israel at 1.19 on Wednesday, pointing to a spread of the virus.

Over 19,019 Israelis tested positive in the past week, a 27.7 % increase over the week before that.

Only about 40% of Israelis’ immune protection is still in effect. About 813,600 Israelis have received the fourth vaccine, as opposed to 6,710,000 who got the first.

Minister of Public Security Omer Barlev tested positive for the virus on Monday, as well as Members of Knesset Gilad Kariv, Alon Tal, and Orit Strook.

10,867 Israelis have died of the virus in the past two and a half years, including two in the past week.