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Grim new Covid record in world's most vaccinated country

Israel has announced nearly 11,000 new coronavirus cases in a day, a new record since the pandemic broke out – despite the country's world-leading vaccination campaign.

There were 10,947 new Covid cases registered in the past day, the Health Ministry said.

The latest figure is higher than the previous record, dating back to mid-January, when officials announced some 10,100 cases. Fewer tests were being carried out at the time, however.

More than 1 million infections have been reported in Israel, a nation of 9.4 million.

People wearing medical masks walk about at a market in the centre of Jerusalem on August 5, 2021. -
Israel is seeing nearly 11,000 new Covid cases a day. Source: AFP via Getty Images (AFP via Getty Images)

The number of seriously ill people has fallen slightly, to 719 on Tuesday.

So far, more than 7000 people have died of COVID-19 in Israel, according to the latest figures.

Scientists continue to emphasise that the vaccine against the virus remains effective in preventing serious illness and deaths.

Israel's vaccination campaign relies exclusively on the Pfizer/BioNTech shot. The country was the first worldwide to roll out booster jabs. So far, 2 million people have received their third shot.

Meanwhile nearly 59 per cent of people have received two doses of the vaccine.

Israel has expanded its coronavirus booster drive, lowering the minimum age for the jab to 30. Source: Bloomberg via Getty Images.
Israel has expanded its coronavirus booster drive, lowering the minimum age for the jab to 30. Source: Bloomberg via Getty Images. (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Israel now offering three doses of vaccine

Israel is offering third shots to everyone aged 12 and up, but herd immunity remains difficult to reach, with some 2.13 million children under 12 who can only be vaccinated in exceptional cases.

Israel decided to roll out third vaccinations based on Health Ministry figures suggesting the vaccine's effectiveness had declined sharply since the beginning of June among those who had received the first round of jabs.

Meanwhile, the country is battling with the spread of the more contagious Delta variant.

Experts fear that the start of the school year on Wednesday could lead to a further spike in cases.

More than 90,000 children and young people cannot go to school or kindergarten because they are currently ill or in quarantine, according to media reports.


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