Israel’s top officials are warning that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is “significantly less” effective at combating the “Delta” variant of the CCP virus.
“We do not know exactly to what degree the vaccine helps, but it is significantly less,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told reporters and cabinet members on July 17. He didn’t elaborate.
The Delta strain, which was first identified in India, now makes up a significant portion of the new COVID-19 cases in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to health officials.
Bennett said that in “Britain, in recent days, we have seen a jump in the number of children who are being hospitalized on a daily basis.”
“This is a development that we are aware of; we are dealing with it rationally and responsibly,” he said.
For months, Israel has relied heavily on administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which uses mRNA technology. Officials have said that more than 5.7 million Israelis have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Pfizer officials didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment about Bennett’s claims.
The Delta variant, meanwhile, has prompted concerns that governments around the world may reimpose strict lockdowns or face-mask requirements in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. For months, officials in the United States and elsewhere promised that mass vaccination campaigns would bring an end to the months-long lockdowns and other COVID-19-related requirements. Now with the rise of Delta infections among vaccinated individuals, it’s unclear what the next steps will be.
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Lockdowns have been flagged as being ineffective in several recent studies. One conducted by the University of Southern California and the RAND Corp. found that shelter-in-place (SIP) orders didn’t actually save lives.
“We use an event study framework to quantify changes in the number of excess deaths after the implementation of a SIP policy. We find that following the implementation of SIP policies, excess mortality increases,” the researchers wrote in a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
In the UK, researchers with several top universities said that about five times as many children died from suicide or related trauma than from COVID-19. They specifically concluded that lockdowns are far more detrimental to children’s health than the virus itself.
According to anonymously sourced reports, Israel is considering a new lockdown due to the variant.
During his remarks on July 17, Bennett said that “our goal is to allow routine life to continue with adjustments to the coronavirus,” although it’s not clear whether that includes lockdowns.
“We all hope to see a slowdown, but the facts at the moment are that there isn’t a slowdown—not here and not around the world,” he said.
Another Israeli official said lockdowns aren’t on the table.
“I don’t know how we’ve come to talk of lockdowns,” Sharon Alroy-Preis, Israel’s head of public health, told Channel 12. “We are not at a place of [considering] a lockdown during the holiday period [in September].”
In other parts of the world, lockdowns are being implemented again. On July 18, Thailand’s government announced restrictions—including curfews—in Bangkok and other areas while suspending most domestic flights.
And in Australia on July 17, Sydney ordered harsh new restrictions, shutting down construction on buildings, banning nonessential retail, and threatening to fine employers who don’t comply.