Israel to Require Recovered COVID Patients to Have Booster Shot for Green Pass

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Haaretz
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Respiratory Corona unit, entrance permitted in full protection gear
Respiratory Corona unit, entrance permitted in full protection gearCredit: Rami Shllush
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Haaretz

Patients who have recovered from coronavirus will now need a single dose of the vaccine to receive a Green Pass if six months have elapsed since their diagnosis, the Health Ministry announced.

Prof. Nachman Ash, the director general of the Health Ministry, made the decision due to the diminished immunity to the virus over time for those who have recovered from COVID.

Until now, recovered patients were considered protected from COVID and eligible to receive a Green Pass – which gets them into various venues – even if they had not been vaccinated, though they were recommended to receive one dose.

A person who contracts COVID after being vaccinated is immediately considered inoculated and recovered. For now, a person vaccinated and recovered will receive a Green Pass for six months, after which the Health Ministry will reexamine the issue.

Medical staff in a COVID intensive care unit in Jerusalem. Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Research by the Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy Research, which advises the Health Ministry, shows that people who have recovered from COVID and have received one shot have protection similar to those who have received three doses.

The data was presented at the beginning of the month to the coronavirus cabinet, which at the time decided not to recommend requiring vaccinations for recovered COVID patients if they wanted to obtain a Green Pass. 

The decision comes in the wake of the delta wave and growing evidence showing the gaps in serious illness and mortality between unvaccinated and fully vaccinated individuals. 

Also on Sunday, the Health Ministry recorded 673 coronavirus patients in serious condition, with 73 percent of them unvaccinated. By contrast, seriously ill patients who have gotten all three shots, or having the equivalent protection to a recovered patient with one additional shot, make up only 8 percent of patients in serious condition. 

The gaps between the fully vaccinated and the unvaccinated are just as stark when it comes to mortality, with the unvaccinated making up all four deaths recorded on Sunday. Over the weekend, 38 patients also died, with 24 of them not receiving all three jabs. Nobody who has received a booster shot has died over the past four days. 

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