“The natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a large Israeli study that some scientists wish came with a “Don’t try this at home” label. The newly released data show people who once had a SARS-CoV-2 infection were much less likely than vaccinated people to get Delta, develop symptoms from it, or become hospitalized with serious COVID-19.”
Data for ScienceMag article is from Medrxiv Preprint: Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity: reinfections versus breakthrough infections
“This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity. Individuals who were both previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and given a single dose of the vaccine gained additional protection against the Delta variant.”
A summary table of the studies that have assessed mRNA vaccine effectiveness (VE) for Delta infections, updated with reports from yesterday, overall in line with estimate ~50-60%; *does not pertain* to high VE for hospitalizations or deaths pic.twitter.com/7LxvLoelUI
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) August 19, 2021
The Israeli Health Ministry on Monday warned that new coronavirus variants from abroad could force Israel into a lockdown that the government is working hard to avoid, with the Lambda variant posing a particularly pressing threat.
During a meeting of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee to approve new measures for travel from abroad, a top ministry official warned of the Lambda variant that has rampaged across South America and crossed into the US.
“If it arrives in Israel we will go into the lockdown that we are so much trying to avoid,” Asher Salmon, director of the International Relations Department at the Health Ministry, told the committee.
Israeli Health Ministry figures released Monday showed 5,083 new virus cases were identified the day before. Of the 50,693 active cases, 531 are in serious condition. The death toll since the start of the pandemic was 6,673.
Some of the charts from Israel’s official Covid-19 dashboard make interesting reading and seem to tell a rather different story to the current vaccination narrative.
Firstly, let’s recall that the number of people that are fully vaccinated in Israel is about 63% of the population.
The chart below shows the number of severely ill Covid-19 patients of all age groups and their vaccination status.
278 of the severely ill patients are fully vaccinated
163 of the severely ill patients are unvaccinated
10 of the severely ill patients are partially vaccinated
If you break down the severely ill Covid-19 patients by age group
251 of the severely ill patients over 60s are fully vaccinated
97 of the severely ill patients over 60s are unvaccinated
10 of the severely ill patients over 60s are partially vaccinated
You can see why booster vaccine shots are being administered to the over 60s with these numbers. The vaccinations already administered seemed to have largely waned after a few months.
It’s a different story for the severely ill aged under 60 at the moment. Relatively few people under 60 are severely ill in Israel, but of those that are, a larger proportion are unvaccinated.
26 of the severely ill patients under 60s are fully vaccinated
66 of the severely ill patients under 60s are unvaccinated
0 of the severely ill patients under 60s are partially vaccinated
Covid-19 deaths have been steadily rising in all age groups, despite the vaccination campaign.
In conclusion then, we now know that:
The Covid-19 vaccines don’t prevent infection from Covid-19
The Covid-19 vaccines don’t prevent transmission of Covid-19
The Covid-19 vaccines don’t prevent severe illness from Covid-19
The Covid-19 vaccines don’t prevent death from Covid-19
So what exactly have we paid for?
The Israeli Covid-19 data charts
are were all reproducible here **.
** UPDATE ** The Israeli Dashboard has been redesigned since these screenshots were taken. It’s now impossible to replicate this data! **
** Update 2: The Israeli Covid infection figures seem to have flipped since we originally wrote this post. There are now far more unvaccinated people becoming infected with Covid and ending up in hospital. The post below probably goes a long way to explaining why that is the case.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control on Monday added Israel to its highest risk level, advising U.S. citizens to avoid travel.
The Prime Minister of Israel, Naftali Bennett should make the historic announcement. The Israelis have put up a fantastic fight against the Coronavirus. They have led the world in vaccination campaigns, they have led the world tracking their progress, and they have led the world in reporting the setbacks.
This plucky little country is just about the only one that has levelled with its public from day one. They are quite possibly the only country with enough balls to call it.
And the public deserve to know. The world deserves to know.
Dr Kobi Haviv, Herzog Hospital, Jerusalem: “95% of the severe patients are vaccinated”. “85-90% of the hospitalizations are in fully vaccinated people.” “The effectiveness of the vaccine is waning/fading out”
"95% of the severe patients are vaccinated".
"85-90% of the hospitalizations are in Fully vaccinated people."
"We are opening more and more COVID wards."
"The effectiveness of the vaccine is waning/fading out"
— Ran Israeli (@RanIsraeli) August 5, 2021
An official in the high-level coronavirus cabinet, speaking on the condition of anonymity, tells the Kan public broadcaster that the government will wait and see what the effects of the third vaccine booster shot are before declaring a nationwide lockdown.
“The chances of a lockdown in August are slim,” the official says. “The assessment is that they’ll wait two weeks to see if the third shot helps bring down serious cases among the over 60s and if we see a wave of vaccinations among teenagers. If that doesn’t happen, the question is not if there will be a lockdown, but when.”
Booster jabs may be extended to younger Israelis
At the last Corona Cabinet meeting on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett raised the possibility that Israel would soon advance to a 40-60-year-old vaccine with third impulse injections – but the head of public health services at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sharon Elrai Price, reacted and cooled Bennett’s initiative
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Thursday the world’s first vaccination drive to inoculate people over 60 with a third Covid vaccine dose, starting Sunday. Speaking at a press conference at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, where 60-year-old Herzog received the jab, Bennett said: “We are launching our third jab campaign to protect seniors in Israel. From today there is a new mitzvah: to vaccinate your fathers and mothers.”
Among 1497 fully vaccinated health care workers, 39 SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections were documented. On follow-up questioning, 31% of all infected workers reported having residual symptoms 14 days after their diagnosis. At 6 weeks after their diagnosis, 19% reported having “long Covid-19” symptoms, which included a prolonged loss of smell, persistent cough, fatigue, weakness, dyspnea, or myalgia.
Nine workers (23%) took a leave of absence from work beyond the 10 days of required quarantine; of these workers, 4 returned to work within 2 weeks. One worker had not yet returned after 6 weeks.
See also MedrXiv preprint: Breakthrough Symptomatic COVID-19 Infections Leading to Long Covid: Report from Long Covid Facebook Group Poll
Since 1st May 2021 in Israel, 72 people who previously had Covid-19 were infected again, accounting for 1% of confirmed new cases, while 3,000 people who were vaccinated have been infected, which represents 40% of confirmed new cases.
More than 7,700 new cases of the virus have been detected during the most recent wave starting in May, but just 72 of the confirmed cases were reported in people who were known to have been infected previously – that is, less than 1% of the new cases.
Roughly 40% of new cases – or more than 3,000 patients – involved people who had been infected despite being vaccinated.
At least 153 patients in Israel’s hospitals are in serious condition, of whom 28 are ventilated. 93 out of the 153 severely ill patients have been fully vaccinated, or 60% of the total.
According to the Israeli Health Ministry, 102 of the severely ill patients are aged 65 and over, 76 of whom are fully vaccinated. At least 39 of the severely ill are between the age of 40 and 65, while 16 of them are fully vaccinated. Six of the severely ill are below the age of 40 but only one of them is fully vaccinated.