Health Official Says Late Green Pass Likely Cost Lives

Empty beds in the intensive care unit at the Coronavirus ward of Shaare Tzedek hospital in Yerushalayim, as serious cases decline, Thursday. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

A senior Israeli health official said on Thursday that suspension of the Green Pass was premature and may have led to much loss of life to the coronavirus.

“The Green Pass was put into effect too late. We recommended activating it earlier and maybe we could have saved some human lives,” Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of Public Health at the Health Ministry, was quoted as saying by Ynet.

“If the Green Pass was meant to force people to receive the vaccine, it should have never between scrapped in-between Israel’s COVID waves,” she told a meeting of the Knesset’s Special Committee for the Rights of the Child.

The meeting was convened to discuss vaccination of children, following Pfizer’s announcement of its submission of clinical trial data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for approval to administer the vaccine to children aged 5-11.

“We’ll get the data and see what the FDA has to say. As always we will make the most professional decision. There may be an open discussion for the public because this issue is significant and controversial,” said Alroy-Preis regarding Pfizer’s announcement.

“We do not yet know all the long-term effects and side effects. There may be none and there may be catastrophic side effects,” she said.

She said that if and when the vaccine is offered in Israel, it will be up to parents to decide whether to inoculate them. “There is a virus that we know affects our tissues. We know from adults that the disease can even cause changes in the brain.”

Regarding Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory syndrome (PIMS), which can occur among children who have recovered from COVID, she said:

“We have asked hospitals to report both future and past PIMS cases, so that we have a better understanding of how common it is, because it seems that the syndrome’s prevalence is increasing with the current wave of the Delta variant,” said Alroy-Preis.

On long-term effects of coronavirus, known as long COVID, among children:

“We could find ourselves in a situation where thousands of children have difficulty making an effort, or concentrating in school. So you can’t say [COVID] is a mild illness.