Israel’s vaccine rollout linked to infection fall


Israel’s vaccination programme is showing signs of working to drive down infections and illness in the over-60s.

The fall appears to be most pronounced in older people and areas furthest ahead in their immunisation efforts.

This suggests it is the vaccine, and not just the country’s current lockdown, taking effect.

Israeli Ministry of Health (MoH) figures show 531 over-60s, out of almost 750,000 fully vaccinated, tested positive for coronavirus (0.07%).

And far fewer fell ill, with 38 becoming hospitalised with moderate, severe or critical disease – a tiny proportion.

The MoH assessed the medical records of almost a million people in total – 743,845 of whom were over the age of 60 – until at least seven days after they received a second dose of the vaccine.

There were three deaths in vaccinated over-60s – although it is possible they contracted the infection earlier, before their immunity had time to build.

Before the vaccine had time to take effect, more than 7,000 infections were recorded, just under 700 cases of moderate to critical illness and 307 deaths.

The MoH data suggests infections and illnesses fell consistently from 14 days after receiving the first jab onwards.