Israel is on track to be the first country in the world to inoculate its entire population against Covid-19.
By the second week of January, 1.9 million people in Israel have received a first dose of the vaccine, equating to 22.34 doses administered per 100 people. This compares with 2.82 doses per 100 people in the US.
Israeli’s rapid vaccination programme, which began on 19 December 2020, holds out the prospect of it becoming the first country to control the pandemic through vaccination.
GlobalData epidemiologists have analysed the daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Israel from 8 March 2020– 12 January 2021 (Figure 1). Israel experienced its first case of the virus on 21 February 2020, which has been followed by four waves of infections.
Since the vaccine requires two doses to achieve high levels of protection, with several weeks’ wait in between, if the public becomes complacent in their individual response to stopping the spread of the virus the current wave could quickly become the largest.
Israel entered a third national lockdown on 27 December in the face of rapidly rising infections and the recent detection of two new highly contagious strains. It is imperative that these tight restrictions remain in place until the majority of the population has received two vaccine doses.
If Israel begins to see the impact of the vaccination, with no resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the coming months, this will provide a gold standard for other countries worldwide. However, with its smaller geography and population size, Israel has an advantage over many countries, so it would be unrealistic for many to vaccinate their entire population at the same speed.
Israel’s digitalised medical system has contributed to the speed and efficiency of the vaccination programme, so countries with less structured healthcare systems may take much longer.
Israel is by no means able to relax at this stage in the pandemic. The country requires now more than ever the willingness of the public to comply with strict lockdown measures to avoid the number of new infections reaching the highest levels yet. However, the end of the pandemic is in sight for Israel. If the country continues to vaccinate its population at an increasing rate and tough restrictive measures remain in place while this happens, this infection wave way well be their last major outbreak.
Figure 1: Daily Confirmed Cases of Covid-19 in Israel, All Ages, Men and Women, 8 March 2020– 12 January 2021 (N).
Source: GlobalData; Janssenmedicalcloud.net