New lockdown in Israel, one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, to be imposed as early as in two weeks, not waiting until September, the Corona cabinet discussed today.

Jerusalem Post report that, officials in the Health Ministry are supportive of a lockdown, in order to motivate Israelis who have not yet received a third vaccine dose to get the jab.

Meanwhile, Israel announced Tuesday it will tighten public health measures due to surging in COVID-19 case numbers.

The latest restrictions come as Israel saw nearly 4,000 new daily cases reported on Tuesday, the highest count so far since the country began experiencing an uptick last month, the AP reports. Of which, there were 469 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, with 236 of them in serious condition. Forty-nine patients were on ventilators.

“The Delta epidemic is extremely contagious, and is spreading all over the world. Avoid crowds, and get vaccinated – now. Otherwise, there will be no choice but to impose more severe restrictions, including a lockdown,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, per the Jerusalem Post

“Israel took the brave step of becoming first in the world to give the third vaccine dose,” he said. “This was not an easy decision, but it was made by the professionals to avoid future difficulties.”

One of most vaccinated countries in the world

5.3 million people in Israel have received both shots of the coronavirus vaccine. Meanwhile, 182,444 have now been inoculated with a third dose.

About 60% of the nation’s entire population of 9.3 million has received at least one vaccine dose, reported Reuters. Among adults, about 85% have been vaccinated which means that Israel’s vaccinated community is five times larger than its unvaccinated community.

About a month ago, Israel celebrated what seemed like the end of its domestic pandemic. The country dropped all coronavirus restrictions, including mask mandates and social distancing requirements, reported Reuters.

But starting August 8, the full green pass system will be in place again (from August 20 also for children under 12), masks will be mandatory in all outdoor gatherings.

In addition, government offices will work with only 50% of their workforce in person, and the private sector will be encouraged to do the same.

Pfizer shot now only 41% effective against symptomatic COVID?

On Thursday, new data from Israel and the United Kingdom offered a confusing and contradicting picture of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine’s efficiency in combating the Delta version of the coronavirus.

According to new Health Ministry data, the Pfizer shot — the vaccination provided to practically all Israelis — is currently just 39 percent effective against infection and 41 percent effective against symptomatic COVID. Previously, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine proved successful against infection in more than 90% of cases.

Meanwhile, according to a new UK study published this week in The New England Journal of Medicine, the same vaccine is 88 percent effective in avoiding symptomatic COVID, which is more than double the percentage observed in the Israeli data.

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