Vaccine passports to expire amid record COVID cases

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Green Passes are set to expire along with the perceived effectiveness of the COVID vaccine.

Israel, one of the first countries to “fully” vaccinate most of its population has acknowledged that the two-shot regimen of the Pfizer vaccine does not provide sufficient protection. Prime Minister Naftali Bennet, in urging everyone over the age of 12 to get a third injection said, that those who only had only two shots are in danger and should get the third shot as soon as five months after receiving the second shot.          

The government has also set an expiry date of six months for the controversial Green Pass – the tool by which the government restricts the freedoms of the unvaccinated. In addition, the government now excludes those who have recovered from COVID and considers them as unvaccinated. This, despite scientific studies, including a recent Israeli study that shows that those with past COVID infection have greater protection against future infection even compared to the vaccinated. 

The move comes as a response to a dramatic increase in COVID infections. Despite being a highly vaccinated country, Israel recorded its highest “daily new cases” since the start of the pandemic, and new cases per million were the highest in the world on Sept 1st.

Data from the Ministry of Health show that through the month of August, new infections were confirmed in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people in the same proportion as the vaccination rate in that age group, meaning the vaccine (after two doses) did not appear to prevent new infections. 

1. https://data.gov.il/dataset/covid-19/resource/bd7b8fa9-7120-4e8d-933f-a1449dae8dad
2.  https://datadashboard.health.gov.il/COVID-19/general?tileName=vaccinatedByAge

*The data excludes ages 60+ since many started taking the third injection

Had the vaccine reduced infection, those who vaccinated would be testing positive significantly less than their proportion in the population. Looking at August’s data in Israel the two figures are very close in all age groups – indicating no significant influence of the vaccine. Moreover, the unvaccinated population is tested far more than that vaccinated, since they are required to test prior to attending events that require a Green Pass such as; restaurants, swimming pools, communal prayer, and many workplaces. While the exact figure is not available, it could potentially indicate that vaccinated individuals actually test positive at a higher rate than the unvaccinated.

When it comes to COVID vaccination, Israel has been a leading indicator of where most developed nations will end up. Recently even mainstream media in the U.S. and U.K. started questioning the enduring effectiveness of the COVID vaccines. An article published in Bloomberg titled, The Vaccinated Are Worried and Scientists Don’t Have Answers touches on some of the issues. The BBC began an article acknowledging the changing attitude by writing that “Even asking the question [about the vaccines’ effectiveness] bordered on heresy a year ago…” acknowledging that the absolute trust in the vaccination, as the key to conquering COVID, is waning along with its effectiveness. 

 

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