Vaccine News: Despite Receiving COVID-19 Vaccines, 240 Israelis Test Positive For SARS-CoV-2 And More Cases Of Infections Emerging In Those Vaccinated
: Israeli’s Hadashot 13 TV News Channel has reported yesterday that more than 240 Israelis who had been earlier vaccinated with the Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine still tested positive for the COVID-19 disease.
The mass vaccination against COVID-19 began in Israel at the end of December, with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Rivlin receiving the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine. Around one million Israelis have been inoculated with the vaccine so far.
It was reported that among those vaccinated against the coronavirus in Israel are 240 people who were diagnosed with COVID-19 shortly after being inoculated, Israel’s Channel 13 News (Hadashot 13) reported yesterday.
As Pfizer’s vaccine takes time to develop antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and requires injecting two doses of the inoculation, with the second one given 21 days after the first, there is still a risk of contracting COVID-19. It is also noted that if a person was infected before vaccination, they may still be in danger of developing COVID symptoms even after injection.
The news channel also reported that more cases are emerging of vaccinated individuals contracting the COVID-19 disease and developing symptoms but are being tested and investigated before being added to the official figures of infected cases and those who vaccinations failed to offer any protections.
There is growing concerns that individuals with immunity can carry the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and spread it because it is not clear so far whether mucous layers are beyond the reach of antibodies and they could bear virus particles even after a person is vaccinated.
Health authorities in Israel said that data shows that majority of those who received the coronavirus jabs reported no side effects, although some people sought medical assistance due to weakness, dizziness, fever, and diarrhea, reportedly caused by the vaccination.
The Israeli Health Ministry also reported cases of people suffering from allergic reactions and developing neurological symptoms after receiving the shots with the vaccine.
Israeli media earlier this week, reported that there were four cases where individuals died after getting vaccinated.
Three deaths were proven to be unrelated to the vaccination, while the fourth case is still being investigated.
To date Israel has vaccinated some one million people against COVID-19, which is over 10 percent of its 9.2 million residents, the government said on 1 January.
It was reported that on 20 December, Israel officially started mass vaccinations against COVID-19 after the country approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
The key priority groups to be inoculated include medical workers, students at medical schools, employees of geriatric institutions, and government officials.
Also the day before the vaccinations kicked off, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became the first person in Israel to receive the coronavirus jab. He got the shot in front of TV cameras, pledging to make Israel the first country in the world to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
It was reported that apart from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, Israel also has a vaccine purchasing deal with the US company Moderna. It was also reported that the Jerusalem-based Hadassah Medical Centre had ordered 1.5 million doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine and was waiting for approval from the Health Ministry for its use.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "Israel is the world champion in vaccines Maybe we will be the first country in the world to emerge from this coronavirus."
Netanyahu has said his new friendship with Pfizer's CEO got Israel toward the front of the line. Israeli officials have indicated the country paid a higher price than other countries. One Health Ministry official told local media Israel paid US$62 a dose, compared to the US$19.50 price tag in the U.S.
The Israeli Health Ministry did not confirm how much it paid, citing the "sensitivity of the subject," but Israeli Finance Minister Israel Katz said the higher price was necessary considering Israel was vying for vaccines among much larger countries.
Israeli health officials believe the country's fast vaccination campaign could provide an early model for countries.
Dr Boaz Lev, who heads the Health Ministry's advisory committee for prioritizing how COVID-19 vaccines are distributed told Thailand Medical News, "One of the reasons why Israel was given some of the vaccines (may be) so we can study in advance to see how such a big effort takes place."
Israel's four national health insurance companies are only vaccinating citizens over 60 years of age, health care workers and residents of psychiatric and geriatric institutions. But many younger Israelis, who are at lower risk of COVID-19 complications, have also found ways to get vaccinated. Some clinics vaccinate younger Israelis in the evening so Pfizer vials removed from refrigeration do not go to waste, Dr Lev said.
Despite a rapid vaccination programme, the COVID-19 infection rates in Israel is still increasing on a daily basis with almost 7,000 new infections in the last 24 hours alone and about 38 deaths. The total number of COVID-19 infections has reached more than 434,000 in Israel so far and more than 3,300 deaths so far.
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