More than 1 million Israelis will lose their quarantine exemption after a change in policy took effect on Sunday which requires its citizen to get a THIRD shot, a COVID-19 booster shot, six months after receiving the initial two doses.
COVID-19 passes will be revoked if you only have two shots of the vaccine. The new definition of “vaccinated” in Israel pertains to people who have gotten their third shot. The term “unvaccinated” applies to people who only have two shots.
Times of Israel reported:
Starting on Sunday, the Green Pass will be valid for six months after a person’s last vaccine shot, a change in policy that will affect between 1.7 million and 1.9 million Israelis, according to Hebrew media reports. At the same time, police will step up enforcement of the proof of vaccine document at gatherings and venues in cities with high rates of infection.
All existing Green Passes will be voided and all Israelis must receive new ones through the Health Ministry’s website or app (the new passes became available on Saturday night after midnight). The new rules also require those who recovered from COVID to get one vaccine dose to be eligible for a Green Pass.
The pass is only valid starting one week after receiving the last required dose, for six months. The document, held by those who are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19, grants access to many public places and events, including restaurants and museums.
A temporary Green Pass can also be obtained through a negative virus test, which must be paid for unless the individual is not eligible for vaccination.
The reason for the change in its policy was due to a drop in the effectiveness of the vaccine, where a lot of vaccinated people mostly above the age of 60 became infected with COVID-19. More from Haaretz:
Starting in July, an increasing amount of vaccinated people became infected with COVID-19, mostly above the age of 60.
Studies showed that this was due to a drop in the effectiveness of the vaccine, as a result of a decline in the antibodies in those vaccinated.
Data from the drug company Pfizer, which developed the vaccines Israel largely used to inoculate its population, found the vaccine was 90 percent effective in preventing infection from the delta variant of the virus. The Health Ministry also released similar data early on in their vaccine campaign – but later announced that the effectiveness of the vaccine had decreased and reached only 40 percent in July.
Israel is the first country to offer a mandatory third shot despite of some report of few cases of myocarditis after getting the Pfizer booster shots.
In data published late on Thursday, the Health Ministry reported nine cases of myocarditis within four age groups that comprised more than 1.5 million people who had received a booster shot.
All were male, three were between the ages of 16 and 29 and six were in the 30-59 group. Eight more possible cases were still being reviewed. Most myocarditis cases are generally mild, the ministry said.
In total, out of all 3.2 million Israelis who have received a third jab, 25 reported serious adverse events that appeared within 30 days of the shot, including myocarditis, though a causal link had yet to be established among many of them.