Of the 46 patients hospitalized with the Indian strain, five were vaccinated against COVID-19. The testing stations, which returned to work yesterday, say about a third of the positive results were found in those who went vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“The vaccine is not 100% effective against the infection,” stressed Professor Galya Rahav, director of the Infectious Diseases Department at Sheba Tel Hashomer Hospital and chairman of the Israeli Infectious Diseases Association.
Regardless of the spread of the Indian strain in Israel, as soon as the number of those infected begins to grow, even vaccinated people become reinfected.
The good news is that most new infections are asymptomatic or mild. It is true that the Indian strain is more contagious, but it is still unclear whether it causes more serious disease.
A recent study published in The Lancet medical journal found that the Pfizer vaccine was 88 percent effective against the Indian variant, compared to 93 percent against the British strain.
“The study in Scotland and England showed that the vaccine was effective in preventing serious disease of the Indian strain, but the efficacy decreased against infection,” Professor Rahav said.
“The efficacy of the vaccine is excellent, but we know that before this particular variant, the efficacy decreases somewhat,” says Dr. Arnon Shahar, a member of the coronavirus treatment group at the Maccabi Hospital Office.
“Clearly, in terms of symptomatic infection, the Indian strain also poses a risk of infection to vaccinated adults. The higher the incidence, the more likely some of those vaccinated are to become infected.
The focus should now be on reducing the gap in the unvaccinated population and on protecting at-risk groups and those with chronic diseases who need special attention.
One proposal currently being considered worldwide is the introduction of a third dose of the vaccine to increase its effectiveness, but there is disagreement in the medical world as to whether this is really necessary.
In order to deal with the increase in the incidence of the disease, the director general of the Ministry of Health, Prof. Hezi Levy, signed an order today imposing a fine of NIS 5,000 on parents of children who ignore isolation and in cases where contact with a known positive patient has taken place.