Opening Israeli schools will not cause an increased COVID crisis – HU

Written by on August 27, 2021

The opening of the school year is unlikely to increase the pace of serious COVID-19 infections, as long as the rate of vaccination continues, according to researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The researchers, who have been advising the coronavirus cabinet and the government throughout the pandemic, said that the third shot of the Pfizer vaccine and the recently instituted expanded Green Pass program is stopping serious infection in general.

They said that it is expected that the rate of infection will begin to decrease alongside the serious cases, but that the number of serious cases among unvaccinated people over the age of 60 will continue to be a challenge.

According to the report, unvaccinated individuals over the age of 60 are five times more likely to develop a serious infection than vaccinated individuals. Additionally, because unvaccinated people are hospitalized longer than vaccinated, they are expected to soon become the majority of people being treated in the country’s hospitals. 

They also said that the mortality rate is expected to stabilize, but to be dominated by unvaccinated people. 

 PEOPLE IN THE 50+ age group receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a Clalit Health Care Center in Katzrin on Monday. (credit: MICHAEL GILADI/FLASH90) PEOPLE IN THE 50+ age group receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a Clalit Health Care Center in Katzrin on Monday. (credit: MICHAEL GILADI/FLASH90)

There were 689 serious cases on Friday, the Health Ministry reported, including 149 who were ventilated. Nearly 7,000 Israelis have died from the virus.

Furthermore, the reproduction rate or “R” that currently stands at 1.11 is expected to drop substantially by mid-September to 0.85. As such, even if infection slightly increases due to the opening of schools, the rate of daily cases will continue to decline.

Nonetheless, the researchers stressed that there will be obstacles to continuing with routine as thousands of people are expected to enter quarantine as a result of the opening of schools.

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