I monitor the covid numbers in Israel closely not only because I live in Israel (although I am spending the summer in California), but I think so much can be learned from the Israeli experience.
Many of my friends write to me citing stories about how the Delta is raging in Israel. Not only are they concerned for Israel but also because they wonder what that will mean for them wherever they live.
Please note that what I am writing is just my opinion. Don’t take my opinion as facts. So what is going on in Israel.
Israel is one of the most vaccinated countries in the world. About 70% of the total population has been vaccinated. However, that may be close to 90% of the eligible population since children under 12 are not being vaccinated yet. There are communities where vaccinations are lagging as for example within the Arab communities but even their 70% of those eligible have been vaccinated.
The Delta variant is about four times as infectious as the original virus. It also appears to develop more quickly. So we are seeing a lot of breakthrough cases. But what we are not seeing is a lot of hospitalization and deaths. In fact, the number of serous cases is less than 1%. Never the less, that growth in this number could compromise the health care system.
It is now clear that the the vaccinations loose effectivity over time in preventing infection. It appears from the data in Israel this is time related. Age also may play a role. Israel is giving all those over 40 years of age, a third shot. Initial studies show that this will restore the ability of the vaccination to prevent infection in 88% of those vaccinated. This will slow down the spread of the disease and reduce the need for hospitalization. But the spread is not all bad. It will result in many people being infected but not seriously. However, they will develop immunity to the virus. Eventually the virus may become something like the flu. But the best defence now is to get vaccinated and take other measures to reduce infection.
I don’t see the situation in Israel alarming, at least for Israel. In the USA where a large number of people are not willing to be vaccinated, it is a different matter. The virus is going to kill many and for now good reason. But that is another topic.