Israel’s COVID-19 surge shows the world what’s coming next

DM

Israel, once a front-runner in the global race to move on from COVID-19, is now one of the world’s biggest pandemic hot spots. Since April, Israel has fallen from first to 33rd in Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker of populations considered fully vaccinated. The program plateaued amid hesitancy from some in the Orthodox Jewish and Arab communities. About 61% of Israelis have been given two doses, lower than in European laggards earlier in the year such as France and Spain. Following the spread of the Delta variant over the summer, Israel has seen cases climb, reaching an all-time high of 11,316 daily cases on Sept. 2. The number of people falling seriously sick and being hospitalized, though, has risen less than it did during the last coronavirus wave, peaking at 751 in late August, compared with 1,183 in mid-January. The trend is now downward. Infections jumped because of the prevalence of cases among the unvaccinated, especially children. There were also so-called breakthrough infections in those who have been vaccinated, and the drop in efficacy of vaccines.

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