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COVID: The future of the Jewish holidays depends on vaccination – Bennett

CM 05/08/2021

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In order to avoid a lockdown and fully celebrate the Jewish holidays, Israelis have to go out and get vaccinated, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Thursday.
“The future of the Jewish holidays depends on vaccination numbers,” Bennett stressed, addressing the Israeli public from his Facebook page, and responding to questions sent by both journalists and normal citizens.
The prime minister strongly urged both Israelis over the age of 60 to go and get a third shot and younger individuals who have not gotten jabbed at all to do so immediately.

“Five days after the third shot, people over the age of 60 are six times less likely to get infected than people who were vaccinated twice,” Bennett noted.
He also reminded younger listeners that COVID can be dangerous also for them, recalling the phenomenon of long COVID – with symptoms such as exhaustion and lack of concentration for several months – but also asked them to show responsibility towards their family and the society.
“I ask each of you to go and get vaccinated, you are endangering yourself and the people around you, as if you were walking with a machine gun and shooting Delta viruses at all of us,” the prime minister said. “This is a selfish, unworthy and irresponsible. None of you want to kill people by mistake, we are waiting for you at the vaccination stations.”
Currently there are about one million Israelis who are eligible for a vaccine and have not gone to receive it.
Asked about whether the government is considering bringing back the purple ribbon outline – which placed restrictions on the number of customers or visitors venues and business could welcome – Bennett said there is no tool that the government is not ready to examined.
The prime minister also noted that the government aims to finalize the outline for the upcoming school year on Sunday or Monday, remarking that also the possibility of having a fully normal school year, as well as to avoid a lockdown during the holidays, depend on how the vaccination campaign will proceed.
The goal is to avoid the health systems to be overwhelmed and the hospitals to be forced to turn away patients.
“If we do impose a lockdown, the purpose will be to buy us more time to vaccinate more people,” he said.
The number of serious patients on Thursday stood at 250, 14 more than the previous day and almost 100 more than seven days before. Experts fear that if serious morbidity continues to grow at a similar rate, by the end of the month Israel could have as many as 1,600 serious patients.
The hope is that the third shot to people over 60 – who currently represent the majority of serious patients – is going to change the trend.
The response to the new vaccination campaign so far has been positive, with some 263,000 people already jabbed out of a total population of about 1.6 million.
On Thursday morning, Health Ministry’s director-general Prof. Nachman Ash said in an interview to the Army Radio that the authorities do not want to impose a lockdown, but if the situation requires it, it could be decided already before the end of August.
Ash was asked about a proposal to make the move already in the next two weeks or so as suggested by Construction and Housing Minister Ze’ev Elkin during the latest coronavirus cabinet meeting, in order to avoid reaching an emergency in serious morbidity.
Ash said that he is not in favor of moving up such a dramatic step too much, but rather follow the number of serious patients and the effects of the vaccination campaign for a third vaccine to the elderly in the next ten days or two weeks.
“We do not want to reach a lockdown, but the reality could make it a necessary step,” he noted. “We have started a third vaccination campaign to reduce the serious morbidity, and if we see a decrease it could prevent – or delay – more difficult steps.”
Some 3,421 new cases were registered on Wednesday, the Health Ministry reported on Thursday.
While the number marks a slight increase compared to Tuesday – when some 3,290 virus carriers were identified – it also confirms a decrease from Monday – when the fourth wave record of 3,851 cases was registered.
In addition the positivity rate of tests administered also offered a slight decline for the second day in a row. From the fourth wave peak of 3.8% on Monday, it went down to 3.35% on Tuesday and 3.29% on Wednesday.
On weekdays last week, Israel had some 2,100-2,400 new cases per day, with a 2.3-2.5% positive rate.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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