Almost 500,000 Israeli Seniors Receive Booster Injections | Voice of America
A third of Israeli seniors – around 420,000 of those aged 60 and over – have received a booster shot against the coronavirus, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday, adding that the figure could reach 500,000 by the end of the day.
Bennett announced the progress of the vaccination campaign, which began 10 days ago and uses the Pfizer vaccine, at a Cabinet meeting.
Israel became a leader in immunization at the start of the pandemic, with an estimated 5.4 million of its population of 9.3 million fully vaccinated. Still, with hospitalizations on the rise, almost exclusively with the Delta variant, the government has offered the third shot and reinstated an inside mask warrant.
With a year and a half of pandemic worldwide, the United States, India and Brazil have suffered by far the most COVID-19 cases and deaths from the virus, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
The United States has reported more than 35.7 million cases and more than 616,000 deaths. India has reported nearly 32 million cases and nearly 428,000 deaths. Brazil has reported 20.1 million cases and more than 563,000 deaths.
France, Russia and the United Kingdom occupy the next three places with more than 6 million cases each and 112,000 to 162,000 deaths.
India, which faced a devastating second wave of the virus earlier this year, said on Sunday it had recorded more than 39,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. Brazil reported more than 43,000 new cases on Sunday. The United States has reported just over 44,000 new cases, all numbers according to Johns Hopkins.
Neither the United States nor any European country has yet authorized booster shots of the vaccine. Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for a moratorium on discussions over booster shots until more of the world’s population is vaccinated.
In India, just over 8% of its population has been fully immunized. In Brazil, that figure rises to 21% and in the United States to almost 51%, according to Johns Hopkins.
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in the United States, which has confirmed an average of 100,000 new infections per day over the past week. Infections have increased, due to the more contagious delta variant.
Frances Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health in the United States, told ABC “This Week” on Sunday that the country was failing in its response to the pandemic.
“We should never have gotten to where we are,” he said.
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More than 230,000 people marched on Saturday in cities in France to protest against measures to counter the spread of the coronavirus, including vaccines for health workers and a health pass necessary for many public indoor activities.
This fourth week of protests was also the largest and included marches in Paris, Nice, Montpellier and Lyon, where police used tear gas on protesters who threw objects at police. The measures brought together far-left anarchists and French far-right activists, according to Reuters.
Health care workers have until September 15 to get vaccinated or face suspension.
“I’d rather not be paid than be forced to get the vaccine,” hospital psychiatrist Diane Hekking told Reuters as she demonstrated in Paris.
The health pass shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative COVID-19 test, or a cure from COVID-19. One will be needed from Monday to enter cafes and restaurants, travel on intercity trains and access non-urgent care in hospitals. The pass was already needed for cinemas, concert halls, sports arenas and theme parks that can seat more than 50 people, according to the Associated Press.
France is not the only European country to turn to health packages.
The Italian Green Pass came into effect on Friday. Denmark was the first to pass the vaccine with little resistance. In Austria, the pass is required to enter restaurants, theaters, hotels, sports facilities and hairdressers, the AP said.
In Poland, however, thousands marched in protest on Saturday as the government debated whether to impose restrictions on unvaccinated people, Reuters reported.
Over the past month, Poland has reported nearly 3,300 new coronavirus cases and 167 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
Johns Hopkins reported more than 202.2 million global COVID-19 infections on Sunday morning. The university said more than 4.4 billion doses of the vaccine had been administered.
Some of the information in this report comes from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.