Israel Breaks 100,000 Mark for Vaccinating Ages 12-16 Against COVID

Officials are satisfied with current COVID inoculation trends amid delta spike in Israel, even though slower rates persist among ultra-Orthodox and Arabs

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An adolescent receiving his COVID vaccination in Jerusalem, last month.
An adolescent receiving his COVID vaccination in Jerusalem, last month.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Israel surpassed 100,000 coronavirus inoculations of 12-16 year olds, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry, as well as Israeli health maintenance organizations, expressed satisfaction at the rate of vaccination in recent days. There was, however, mention of a large gulf between the ultra-Orthodox and Arab populations and the rest of the public.

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According to the ministry, 323 people were found yesterday carrying the virus – an increase of 28 from Thursday. Additionally, 0.5 percent of tests were positive – the same as Thursday. 58 people were hospitalized, 31 of them being in serious condition – an increase of three since Thursday. 9,465 people received their first dose of the vaccine yesterday, with another 1,395 receiving their second.

The Health Ministry estimated on Thursday that by next week there will be 600 new positive cases a day and that eventually that number will rise to 1,000. According to the ministry's assessment, 100,000 coronavirus tests will be given out by July 11.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved for 12- to 15-year-olds in Israel about a month ago, but only 2.9 percent of the age bracket in the ultra-Orthodox community had received the first shot as of Friday.

Still, 24 percent of ultra-Orthodox children 12 to 15 are classified as recovered from COVID-19, a very high number. In the other age groups in the Haredi community, vaccination rates are higher: 66 percent among 16- to 29-year-olds, 74 percent among 30- to 49-year-olds and 84 percent among people 50 or over.

In the Arab community, only 2.8 percent of 12- to 15-year-olds have received their first jab. In contrast to the ultra-Orthodox community, only 7.1 percent of the children in this cohort have recovered from the virus, also as of Friday.

The Health Ministry also said on Thursday that the country will face 600 new coronavirus cases a day within a week, and that this figure is expected to rise to 1000 in 10 days, in light of the delta variant's spread across the country.

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