Israel's top public health expert told Haaretz in an exclusive briefing on Wednesday that the country's booster vaccination campaign proved a major success, and expressed optimism that vaccines will over time bring an end to the global pandemic. "We have the tools to win this battle," Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis said during a live Zoom conversation. "I'm very optimistic."
Alroy-Preis described how the introduction of the boosters significantly slowed down the spread of the virus in Israel over the summer, and turned around the trend regarding severe cases and mortality. She warned, however, that Israel is not yet out of its fourth wave, mostly because the virus is continuing to spread among the unvaccinated, being either adults who did not get the vaccine or booster, or children who were not eligible to receive it.
Israel this week began a national campaign to vaccinate children aged 5-11, and Alroy-Preis shared that she personally had vaccinated two of her children before attending the briefing. She stressed that child vaccinations are first and foremost in order to protect the children themselves, noting that although COVID is more dangerous to adults, it can also cause health complications and long-term symptoms in children.