Top virologist says Delta defeated, predicts 6+ months of COVID quiet for Israel


Israel has defeated the Delta variant of the coronavirus and can expect six to eight months of COVID quiet, according to a leading virologist.

Dr. Rivka Abulafia-Lapid told The Times of Israel on Tuesday that the fourth wave is coming to an end, that Delta is highly unlikely to generate another wave, and that the strong spread of a new variant is improbable.

This is mostly due to the allocation of booster shots across age groups in Israel, which, given the functioning of the immune system, are likely to deliver longer-lasting protection than the initial two shots, she said.

“My estimate is that once we have three vaccines, protection will last for a year,” said Abulafia-Lapid, a senior doctor at Hadassah Medical Center and part of the Hebrew University’s faculty. “There should be good memory in the body for around a year that can fight off COVID infection in many cases.”

She was slightly more conservative in predicting how long the boosters will protect the broader public — including those who have not had a booster shot — and said that she expects them to keep existing variants under control and prevent the wide spread of other variants for around six to eight months.