Vaccination Centers Closing As Third Wave Ends

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli receives a Covid vaccination at a Leumit Vaccination Center, in Tel Aviv. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

As coronavirus cases continue to fall and health officials remain upbeat, some of the vaccination centers are starting to close down, as the worst of the pandemic seems to be over.

Coronavirus Commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash said on Sunday that he doesn’t expect another wave of the coronavirus, as the number of cases dropped below 300, the lowest level since October, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“I’m glad to see a decline in all indices,” Ash said in a press briefing, but did not neglect to add: “I want to remind everyone that we have not yet reached the low numbers that we registered between the second and third waves, so there is still a long way to go.

“However, the encouraging detail is that the decrease is happening despite a wide opening of the economy which occurred about two weeks ago as the third stage of the exit strategy from the lockdown began,” he said.

The remaining threats, according to Ash, are either an outbreak among children and adults who are not vaccinated, or the emergence of a variant resistant to the vaccine.

“We currently do not know of such a mutation, and we are taking all measures to reduce the entry of mutations into Israel,” Ash said. “The bottom line is that I am not anticipating another wave of disease and I very much hope that it does not happen.”

When asked about the future of tourism in the near term, he was not overflowing with optimism, saying it will depend on specific agreements regarding the mutual recognition of vaccination and recovery certificates.

“We know that there are ongoing negotiations with different countries, and these agreements should be based on the fact that we know that whoever comes here is vaccinated or recovered and that we recognize their certificates,” he stressed. “I still believe that this summer there will not be a lot of tourists here.”

Meanwhile, now that most Israelis over 16 have been vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19, the large vaccination centers in the main cities have started to close as the focus shifts to mobile stations in smaller communities, The Times of Israel reported.

More than 5.1 million of Israel’s 9.3 million population have received at least one vaccine dose, and over 4.5 million have gotten both shots.

With at least 3 million others unable to get inoculated since they are under 16, the vaccination pace has slowed down, since the eligible population has mostly been vaccinated.

A large vaccination center at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square has been taken down, with works on a planned light rail planned to begin there next month, reported.

Another big center at a stadium in northern Tel Aviv is also being closed down, as sports events are slowly returning.

Health providers will carry on vaccinating members in their permanent clinics.