COVID Infections Among Israeli Children Up Nearly 50%

YERUSHALAYIM -
Healthcare workers take test samples of Israeli children to check if they have been infected with the coronavirus, last week, in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Coronavirus infections among Israeli children went up from 3,636 to 5,297 over the past 10 days, the Health Ministry reported on Sunday, marking a surge of nearly 50%.

According to data released by the ministry, 351 children tested positive for coronavirus over the weekend alone, with the infection rate among Israelis under the age of 18 standing at 2.2% — higher than the national average. Despite the rise in cases, the pediatric vaccination campaign has yet to pick up steam.

Data shows that only 15.6% of children aged five to 11 have had at least one dose. For comparison, 61% and 78% of the 12-15 and 16-18 age groups, respectively, have received both shots.

The Coronavirus Cabinet last week decided that students would return to distance learning in local authorities with low vaccination rates in the wake of the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The decision, which requires the approval of the Knesset Education Committee, will be implemented first for grades 7-12 on Monday and for elementary schools three weeks later.

According to the decision, children will switch to remote studies if less than 70% of the population at a particular local authority has been fully vaccinated.

Health officials warned if the current contagion rate does not slow down, Israel could see its number of daily COVID cases pass the 10,000 threshold in just two weeks.