COVID Infections in Israel Spike by 50 Percent

Forty-two percent of Israelis who caught COVID on Monday were vaccinated, spurring concerns over the efficacy of the vaccine against the highly contagious delta variant

Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati
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A vaccination site in Jerusalem last week.
A vaccination site in Jerusalem last week.Credit: Hadas Parush
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

The Health Ministry reported 501 new coronavirus cases in Israel on Monday, a 50 percent increase from the previous day. The figure is the highest since March 30, when 571 tested positive for the virus

Out of the new infections on Monday, 42 percent had been vaccinated against the virus. This comes amid concern over the rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant, which is now responsible for more than 90 percent of Israel’s cases, according to tests of the virus’ genome among confirmed cases.

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The percentage of tests that turned out positive also rose from 0.7 percent on Sunday to 0.97 percent on Monday.

Of the new infections, 31 recently returned from abroad and the rest were infected via community transmission. The R number, the average number of secondary infections from a single person, currently stands at 1.43.

Seventy-four patients are hospitalized, 43 percent of whom were fully vaccinated. Five were added on Monday, including three who were vaccinated.

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As of Tuesday, there were 33 patients in serious condition, a decline of two from the previous day. The figure includes 17 in critical condition, and 16 who are currently on ventilators.

The morbidity rate among children aged 0-11 has also quadrupled in the last week. The number of cases in this age group in Tel Aviv constitutes almost a third of the total morbidity of the age group across the country. In contrast, there was no significant increase in morbidity among youths aged 12-18.

On Monday, 15,000 people were vaccinated against the virus, including 11,000 aged 12-15. About one fifth of all youth in the age group are vaccinated against the virus.

The Health Ministry also expressed concern that the Pfizer vaccine's efficacy against the delta variant is much lower than initially presumed.

The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has dropped to 64 percent effectiveness in preventing infection in Israel as the delta variant continues to spread across the country, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

Ma’ale Adumim has been defined as a red zone, six towns have been declared orange zones and 27 towns have been declared yellow zones, according to Israel's Israel's 'traffic light' system. Currently, the categorization does not result in any further restrictions on the area.

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