Every human life is precious and sacred and saving one is like the saving of the whole of humanity. (Al Quran 5:32/33)
Source: Yahoo News
By Andrew Romano · West Coast Correspondent
When it comes to vaccinating people against COVID-19 as quickly as possible, Israel is the undisputed world champion so far. In per capita terms, the country has administered more than 55 doses of either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine for every 100 residents. A full third of its population has already received at least the first of the two required doses.
No other nation comes close. In fourth and sixth place, respectively, the United Kingdom (15 doses per 100 residents) and the United States (10 doses per 100 residents) trail far behind.
The main driver of Israel’s rapid rollout — an efficient nationalized health system in which all 9 million citizens hold identity cards and register their electronic medical files with one of the country’s four national health maintenance organizations (HMOs) — is not something other nations can emulate on the fly. And Israel’s refusal to vaccinate all but a handful of Palestinians has been deeply controversial for both ethical and medical reasons.
Yet the rest of the world can still learn a lot from what’s happening there. Now that such a huge share of Israelis have been vaccinated, experts are looking at the country’s experience as a kind of real-world, real-time experiment, with far more participants than any clinical trial and unique data that could start to answer some of our most pressing questions about the power of vaccines to curb the pandemic.
Here are four key takeaways from Israel’s latest numbers:
The vaccines look like they’re as effective as promised — even against the U.K. variant
The launch of Israel’s vaccination campaign on Dec. 20 coincided with the start of its third — and largest — wave of infections. Two weeks later, the country reentered its version of strict lockdown, and even today it’s averaging as many cases as it did during the peak of its previous surge in September.