Israeli SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Cases Surge, as Do Deaths While Study Reveals a Fourth Booster Raises Antibodies Yet Doesn’t Appear to Stop Omicron

by | Jan 30, 2022 | Science & News

Israel, one of the more heavily vaccinated nations, goes through its worst surge yet with record infections driven by both the delta and omicron variants of concern.  Despite a vaccination rate of nearly 70% and the world’s most boosted populations (three doses) as well as a fourth dose underway, new COVID-19 cases have shattered all records while the daily number of deaths approach previous surges.   Death data up to date aren’t readily available so it’s not clear if serious hospitalization and deaths are predominantly unvaccinated.

Current Situation

With 55% of the Israeli population currently boosted over the past handful of months, many suggested the cases would be contained. But TrialSite has chronicled country after country where heavily vaccinated nations continue to reel from a combination of waning vaccine efficacy and overpowering SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern such as delta and now omicron.

Israeli health authorities reported a seven-day average of 78,062 cases, far higher than in previous more deadly surges by Saturday January 29.  59 deaths, approaching previous highs in past surges, were reported on Saturday, January 29th as well.

While the Israel health minister reported that the next couple weeks could be very tough, there are signs that the nation has hit the omicron peak and that the transmission rate should be on the decline starting this week as reported in the Times of Israel.Subscribe to the Trialsitenews “COVID-19” ChannelNo spam – we promise

Fourth Booster of Pfizer Not Enough

Moreover, as TrialSite’s reported the eastern Mediterranean nation’s vulnerable population now receives a fourth booster dose but recent reports out of the country suggest while the fourth dose triggers more antibodies it may not be sufficient to block infection or transmissibility.

As reported by CNN Dr. Gili Regen-Yochay, director of the Infection Prevention and Control Unit at Sheba Medical Center shared with reporters at a virtual press conference

“These are very preliminary results. This is before any publication, but we’re giving it out since we understand the urgency of the public to get any information possible about the fourth dose”

“We have a follow-up of the Pfizer vaccine for two weeks now, and we have a follow-up of the Moderna vaccine just for one week at this time point. And what we see is that the Pfizer vaccine, after two weeks, you see an enhancement or increase in the number of antibodies and neutralizing antibodies — a pretty nice increase. It’s even a little bit higher than what we had after the third dose.” He continued, “Yet, this is probably not enough for the Omicron.”

Generally, previous data from the Israeli health ministry demonstrates vaccination can and does prevent more serious hospitalization and death. Typically, the unvaccinated face higher risks for such events upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly with the lack of any early stage care programs. As data in Israel becomes available TrialSite will review and report.

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