The Israeli Health Ministry today reported the first ten cases of the “AY3” coronavirus mutation, a variant of the Delta strain that is considered more virulent and also more resistant to existing vaccines.
The Israeli government today also dropped the age of eligibility for the COVID booster shot (a third dose of vaccine) to 40.
At a press conference the day before, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was adamantly sticking to his narrative: Vaccines will save the day, and the ultimate goal of his government is to see every single citizen, man, woman, and child fully vaccinated.
Which raises the question: What does “fully” mean when the goalposts keep moving? Few were those who entertained the possibility of a third vaccine dose when Pfizer’s vials first appeared in the country, to loud acclaim.
On Wednesday, Bennett said: “Let’s look at the facts. And the facts are that vaccines save lives. And it’s absolutely normal that we need booster shots. Many vaccines need top-up doses from time to time.”
Bennett then explained with an example: “It’s just like recharging the battery of your smartphone when it runs out. Sometimes we need to recharge our bodies, too.”
Just half a year ago, in January, Bennett used a similar example to make a point. He was then still in the opposition, and was engaged in lambasting the government for its failure to adequately manage the coronavirus crisis. Here’s what he said at a press conference back then:
“What will happen tomorrow, or the day after, if another mutation pops up, and Moderna’s vaccine can’t deal with it? What are we going to do then – give Israeli citizens another shot – every second another shot – like upgrading a smartphone? We can’t rely solely on vaccines.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy yesterday stressed that people who get two COVID-19 shots are fully vaccinated without boosters.
In Israel, they trust the Health Ministry
People Who Get 2 COVID-19 Shots Are Fully Vaccinated Without Booster: Surgeon General https://t.co/8svhZMdzfc
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— Mordechai Sones (@MordechaiSones) August 19, 2021