In ‘booster forerunner’ Israel, everything is open, but there are concerns

In Israel, everything is open, even in the clubs is still partying well into the night. This open society is possible, among other things, because Israel started setting booster pricks this summer. Nevertheless, the country is now taking extra measures, because the infection rates are rising.

For the first time since October, there were more than 1000 infections on Sunday, the r number is now 1.2. At a population of 9 million, that is still low if you put the numbers in addition to those of the Netherlands. Still, the government intervenes. Although there is no question of a lockdown.

However, there are other restrictions. This way, tourists are no longer welcome. There is also a mandatory quarantine for travelers from countries that are on the red list. Now there are 58 countries, including the US and Canada since today. For the time being, the Netherlands is not on that list.

Fourth jab

Israeli policy, which means that millions of people have already been roasted and can also have children a jab, has kept the country open so far. For the time being, this will remain the case, although the government does look at whether more measures are needed. Prime Minister Bennett is calling on his residents to take a booster vaccine in particular. A fourth shot is also part of the corona strategy.

The

fact that the fourth shot is coming seems to be fixed. A prominent corona official indicated that this is โ€œvery likelyโ€ to happen, the question is only when. There is already a trial of 150 healthcare workers to see what the effects of a fourth shot are. This trial takes place in the hospital of the well-known Israeli virologist Eyal Leshem.

Leshem also responds to Nieuwsuurs suggestion by RIVM foreman Jaap van Dissel that Israel started to boost too early. He says they certainly dont regret the summer booster start. โ€œYou have the choice between a good helmet now, or a really good helmet in three months. And you know youll be in a motorcycle accident in a week. Then youd better take that slightly lesser helmet now.โ€

The possible declining effect of the boosters is not the only reason mentioned in Israel for the increasing numbers. The Prime Ministers call to take a booster is not for nothing. Four million inhabitants have already taken a shot, but about 1 million Israelis dont have a booster yet. Another reason that the numbers may increase is the number of children being vaccinated. Many parents are reluctant to vaccinate their children between the ages of 5 and 11. Omikron is also mentioned as a possible reason, although the variant has not yet been found.

Dennis Mook-Kanamori, epidemiologist at the LUMC and general practitioner, says in Nieuwsuur that the increasing numbers in Israel are in any case not directly linked to a reduced functioning of the boosters. He thinks there can be a lot of reasons that the numbers are โ€œa little bitโ€ and mentions another possible cause. โ€œIts winter there too. People are more inside.โ€