COVID Vaccines Are Working
August 13, 2021 - Summarized from Haaretz
Haaretz — Despite a recent increase in the number of serious cases in Israel, including among the fully vaccinated, those who received both doses of the vaccine against COVID-19 are significantly less likely to experience severe illness, according to data released by the Israeli Health Ministry.
As of August 8, the ministry recorded 85.6 severe COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people among the unvaccinated over the age of 60, compared to 16.3 per 100,000 people among the fully vaccinated. This makes the unvaccinated elderly more than five times as likely to experience a severe case than their immunized counterparts.
For those under the age of 60, the rate of severe illness among the unvaccinated stood at 1.4 cases per 100,000 people – 2.8 times more than the 0.5 per 100,000 among those who received two doses of the vaccine.
According to the data, while the risk of experiencing severe symptoms increases with age for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated, it rises much more dramatically among the unvaccinated.
For those aged between 60 and 69, there are 43.4 cases per 100,000 among the unvaccinated, as opposed to only 6.5 for the fully vaccinated. This rises to 65 and 16 cases, respectively, for those aged 70-79 and to 227.8 and 33.1 for those aged 80-89.
Speaking with Haaretz during a live Q&A last week, Prof. Ran Balicer, chairman of Israel’s expert panel on COVID-19, said “there’s no question” that people who are unvaccinated are at a higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19.
“You can see this in the most simple graphs published by the Health Ministry. When you look at Israelis above the age of 60 and you examine severe illness rates – not numbers, rates, which means the number of illnesses per a specific number of the population – then what you see is that among those who are unvaccinated, there’s a considerably higher rate of severe illness than among the vaccinated,” he explained.
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While the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine may have waned somewhat over the past several months, those who are vaccinated are protected five to 10 times as much as those who are unable or unwilling to receive the shot, said Prof. Nadav Davidovitch, director of the School of Public Health at BGU, and head of the Israeli Association of Public Health Physicians.
Both the length of time that has passed since vaccination and a patient’s age can affect the likelihood of their contracting a severe case of COVID-19. “Those who were vaccinated in January are somewhat less protected compared to those vaccinated in, for example, March,” Davidovitch said, adding that it is possible that the more infectious delta variant could also have an impact on the incidence of serious cases.