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Israel close to herd immunity, top health officials say

Israel appears to be nearing herd immunity for the novel coronavirus, top health officials say, suggesting that the fourth wave of mass COVID outbreaks – and potentially the pandemic as a whole – could finally be nearing the end.

According to a report by Kan Monday morning, a number of unnamed senior Health Ministry officials said that if the recent spike in coronavirus infections continues through the next few weeks alongside the rapid mass vaccination campaign for the third dose of the COVID vaccine, Israel will be well-positioned to reach herd immunity within a month or two.

The Health Ministry officials cited in the report estimated that over the next couple of weeks, tens of thousands of additional unvaccinated Israelis – mostly children – will be infected with COVID.

At the same time, hundreds of thousands of vaccinated Israelis will likely receive a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Health Ministry officials say that ultimately, some 4.5 million Israelis will likely get the third dose of the vaccine. Currently, more than 2.6 million Israelis have received the “booster” shot.

Should Israel reach herd immunity – when the number of immune individuals is high enough to prevent sufficient new infections for the virus to sustain itself in the population – the Health Ministry estimates Israel will return to the same low level of infections and serious illness just prior to the fourth wave.

Source: Arutz Sheva

Header: Workers at a restaurant in Tel Aviv, on March 3, 2021. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90 *** Local Caption