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September 23, 2021

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid vaccine boosters could head off fourth wave this winter

By Paul Dennis

23 September

The total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 230,101,000 with more than 4,720,000 deaths reported worldwide.

With a total of over 1,242,000 cases since the start of the pandemic, Israel is 30th in the world for Covid-19 cases.

The country is currently in their third wave of infections, driven by the spread of the Delta variant.

This occurred despite a rapid and successful vaccination campaign in which 63% of the population were fully vaccinated.

On 8 September the number of new daily infections exceeded 22,000 – the highest level observed throughout the pandemic.

The country has since seen a sharp decline in Covid-19 cases.

A surge of breakthrough infections over the past month suggests waning immunity of Israel’s main vaccine, Pfizer-BioNTech, against Covid-19 infection.

However, vaccine protection against severe illness seems to persist over time, as evidenced by Israel’s unvaccinated population.

Despite making up only 17% of the adult population, these unvaccinated individuals account for approximately two-thirds of severe cases.

A booster vaccination campaign was initiated by the country at the end of August in an attempt to contain the increase in cases caused by the spread of the Delta variant.

The booster campaign is open to anyone who has received their second vaccination five months prior.

Booster campaigns are also being launched in some European countries.

Germany, France, and Italy have started offering a third dose to the elderly and high-risk groups this month.

These countries have observed a similar trend of declining new daily Covid-19 infections in recent weeks.

This follows the introduction of Covid-19 health passes, which limit entry to bars, cultural sites, and sporting events to those that have been vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19 or tested negative.

The measure aims to encourage people to get vaccinated.

As a whole, this represents a positive step to reduce the likelihood of Europe experiencing a fourth wave of infections during the winter months.

Tara Patel, MSc, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

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