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Study: Israel doesn’t have coronavirus herd immunity

A new survey by Tel Aviv University showed that just 200,000 people – 2.5% of Israel’s population – are immune to coronavirus, Israel Hayom reported.

In addition, a large portion of those who contracted coronavirus probably did not show symptoms.

The serological survey tested samples from 1,700 individuals from around Israel for antibodies, and was conducted in cooperation with Magen David Adom (MDA) and the Health Ministry’s Israel Center for Disease Control.

The findings were shown to the Health Ministry staff in charge of managing the coronavirus outbreak.

Given the findings, the researchers suggested continuing the current restrictions in order to prevent an additional outbreak.

Similar samples from other populations around the world show that between 1% and 6% of the population has antibodies to coronavirus.

These findings represent the Israeli population’s estimated herd immunity in mid-April. Additional testing will be done later in June, and again periodically.

Professor Daniel Cohen, who heads the School of Public Health at Tel Aviv University and is a member of the staff for managing pandemics, said: “The serological tests give a cumulative picture of the amount of exposure to coronavirus, and also identify who was exposed to the virus a few months ago. This is the most sensitive measure to know regarding the rate of exposure.”

“The figure we saw shows that we are far from herd immunity, and until there is an active or passive immunization, we need to be very careful on the population level.

For coronavirus, you need 50-60% of people exposed in order to have some kind of herd immunity, which together with other preventive steps will lessen the chance that the virus will make the rounds in the population.”

The highest rate of infection was between the ages of 40-60, where 3.5% of those tested showed antibodies for coronavirus. In Jerusalem, over 3% of those tested had antibodies, whereas in the Haifa region, just 1% had antibodies.

Source: Arutz Sheva