The Health Ministry announced that 5,075 new cases of COVID were recorded on Sunday, bringing Israel’s number of active cases to 50,056, of whom 908 are hospitalized.
By David Hellerman, World Israel News
As the number of COVID cases continues to climb, the government is widening a new all-night vaccination campaign. Buoyed by the success of the pilot program in Tel Aviv, the mass campaign will be expanded to 10 more municipalities.
Government officials didn’t specify which cities would be next for the through-the-night shots.
Hundreds of people showed up at an vaccination center set up in Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Square on Saturday night. Jabs were available for anyone needing a first or second shot, or anyone over 50 eligible for a booster.
Magen David Adom (MDA) chief Eli Bin said nobody would be turned away from the vaccination center, regardless of their age, residency status or whether or not they have insurance.
“In the past year it has been proven to us how the vaccines are effective and prevent infection and serious morbidity. In these days, when the number of infections is climbing each day, we consider it of paramount importance to launch a vaccination drive and make the vaccines accessible, without the need to make an appointment, free of charge,” Bin said in a statement.
The IDF is preparing to draft hundreds of reservists to help health workers with vaccinations, contact tracing and serological tests. Thousands of reservists are already working in such roles.
Meanwhile, Israel’s four health maintenance organizations said they have found no side-effects among 500 children aged 5-11 who were recently given first doses of the COVID vaccine.
The children had pre-existing conditions such as respiratory diseases, cancer, severe obesity and immunodeficiencies that classified them as high-risk for COVID. The children are being monitored by their HMOs and are so far on track to receive their second doses.
In the roughly two weeks since a separate campaign began to give booster shots to people 60 and older, 963,572 people have received a third shot. This week, Israel expanded the booster campaign to people in their 50s.
Israel was the first country to roll out third shots after health officials discovered that the effects of the COVID vaccine fade over time. Although the newer Delta variant is more resistant to vaccines, it’s been found that symptoms are less severe for people who have been inoculated.
The Health Ministry announced that 5,075 new cases of COVID were recorded on Sunday, bringing Israel’s number of active cases to 50,056, of whom 908 are hospitalized. In all, 519 cases are considered serious and 92 patients are on ventilators.
Since the COVID pandemic broke out, 6,668 Israelis have died.