HMO Says Green Pass Issued Too Soon

YERUSHALAYIM -
A health care worker taking Covid-19 test samples in a drive through complex at the Golani Interchange, northern Israel. (David Cohen/Flash90)

A major Israeli medical provider said on Monday that issuance of green passes to people who have been vaccinated should be done only after two weeks of the second shot, rather than the current one-week wait.

Meuhedet Healthcare Services announced that the latest data it has shows that effectiveness reaches 96 percent on the fifteenth day after full vaccination. From days 7 to 14, it is 89%. The findings were based on 100,000 of its members who received the shots.

That Israel is giving green passes to allow full access to public spaces just a week after full vaccination, instead of after two weeks, “may help to cause additional waves of illness,” said Dr. David Mosinzon, director of Meuhedet’s medical division.

“Removing social distancing regulations and giving the green pass as soon as eight days after the second vaccine is too early,” said Mosinzon.

“Hundreds of vaccinated who have not yet passed two weeks from the date of vaccination will, in line with the easing of their regulations, go in good faith to large events indoors,” he said. “They have been careful to get a second shot, and will go without knowing they may have contracted the virus before their body developed a high level of immunity, and without thinking they may be contagious.”

However, the Clalit healthcare provider recommended against changing the policy, saying that it would be premature to do so..

“One needs to strike a balance between de-risking the highest-risk indoor setting, and allowing a high enough proportion of the population to participate in the green pass activities to make them economically viable,” Clalit research chief Ran Balicer told The Times of Israel.

“At this point, the seven-day period seems to strike the right balance. In the future, as well-designed peer-reviewed analyses will reveal the actual difference in infection risk between day 7 and 14 after the second dose, we will be able to reconsider the policy.”

The Health Ministry has not yet commented, but if it changes policy, countries around the world that are closely monitoring Israel’s rollout may do the same.