Healthcare professionals have stressed the importance of getting vaccinated to stop the spread of the coronavirus and its highly transmissible variants. These vaccines help us to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, or even death from the disease. These vaccines also lower the risk of the spread of infection to others.
Healthcare Professionals Stressed Of Getting Vaccines In Israel
All individuals above the age of 5 are eligible to get vaccinated. Like all vaccines, coronavirus vaccines also have side effects, but these side effects are short-lived and most people can resume their daily activities immediately after taking these vaccines. These vaccines are easily available, free of cost. Fully vaccinated individuals are those who have received both doses of COVID-19.
Though the vaccines are proven effective in curtailing the spread of the disease, experts recommend a third vaccine in a booster dose for healthcare workers or individuals above 60. The government has also mandated that booster shots be given to people who already have pre-existing medical conditions or who are more susceptible to other infections.
In recent times, vaccines are available for nearly 16 deadly diseases. Vaccines work by producing antibodies that prevent the entry of viruses into our bodies. These antibodies are sometimes naturally made in our body as resistance to an infection or develop after a vaccine is given. That is to say, higher antibodies mean higher protection from a particular disease.
Israel started the world’s first trial of 4th dose of vaccine, or second booster dose, for immunocompromised individuals, individuals over age 60, and healthcare workers, who received their third dose more than 4 months ago, to protect them from the ongoing infection. Experts at Sheba Medical Center say that while the fourth dose administration led to an increase in antibodies, the efficacy of the fourth vaccine dose against the Omicron strain remains very doubtful. For preventing infection as highly transmissible as Omicron, the antibodies produced by the fourth vaccine are relatively low.
Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the Infection Prevention and Control Unit at Sheba Medical Center, said the vaccine was very effective against the previous strains of the coronavirus, but it is less effective when it comes to the dormant strain of coronavirus, Omicron. She also reports it is very soon to come to a conclusion about the fourth dose at this point and as a result, the data is yet to be published.
A study was carried out among 274 health care workers, 154 were administered Pfizer/BioNTech fourth dose, 120 were administered Moderna fourth dose vaccine, and a group of workers who were not administered fourth doses.
Dr. Regev-Yochayreported that the individuals who got the vaccines had fewer omicron infections than the group who remained unvaccinated with the fourth dose. She concluded that the fourth vaccine might help the older, vulnerable population, but right now, she is against the idea of giving it to all age groups. She, however, ruled out any chances of risk involved with the second booster dose.
More and more cases are being reported each day in Israel, leading to increased hospitalizations and increased emergency room visits. The mortality rates are, however, not high. 65% of the population in Israel have received both vaccine doses as well as a booster dose. A vast majority of people in Israel are still reluctant to take the vaccinations.
To boost the economy of the country, the quarantine period has been reduced from 7 to 5 days. There are still restrictions on foreign travel in place. Health minister Nitzan Horowitz has expressed concern that the rising cases may lead to a shortage of testing kits. He said their main objective is to protect the high-risk population.
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