The worrisome vaccination situation in Israel … and the lessons for Mexico


Israel has become the model of successful vaccination.

As of January 29, the percentage of the population vaccinated has reached 53.8 percent, and by a large margin it has become the most advanced country in the process.

Although the number of casualties in Israel has already decreased, and on January 29 itself it was only 6,423, it is still higher than the maximum level reached during the first wave, which occurred on September 27, when 6 thousand 276 people were injured.

The maximum number of infections was reached on January 17th at 8,624 people and since then there has been a downward trend.

This means that it was necessary for Israel to reach just over 30 percent of its vaccinated population for the infection to begin to subside.

The first results showed lower levels of efficacy than would be expected when the first dose of Pfizer was applied, which is the dose applied in that country.

However, when applying the second dose, the results were, on the contrary, better than expected.

This means that a high level of immunity will require – in this case at least – a double application.

We don’t know if this pattern of behavior will continue elsewhere, but if it does, the two applications will likely be needed to generate broader immunity.

In the case of Mexico, reaching 30 percent of the population would mean vaccinating 37.8 million people, accounting for 75.6 million doses.

We do not see how this goal can be achieved in the short term. I think it would be realistic to think that this number can be reached after the first half of this year, not before.

Although the vaccination strategy applied in Mexico follows the recommendations of the World Health Organization, starting with the elderly, who are the most vulnerable population groups, this will not lead to infection control, if not in any way, to reduce the number of deaths, given Because the younger population spreads the most the virus and is also the most contagious.

We still do not have enough information to clearly define the effect of vaccination on the normalization of social and economic life. However, we know that in the long run, the immunity that vaccines will boost is the inevitable way out of the pandemic.

What we are ignoring is the manner and rhythm in which it will occur, and we are not sure, as has happened in the past, that reopening will not generate another wave again.

Some experts are of the opinion that the possibility of a fourth wave should not be excluded if the normalization of social life exceeds the rhythm of the immune process.

In the case of Mexico, the challenge is enormous. The acceleration of injuries became evident since the last week of November and gained most momentum after the December holiday.

However, we do not know for sure what percentage of new infections derived from the chains of transmission that occurred in December and whether there was indeed a suitable presence of some virus mutations leading to increased infections.

In this context, the economic normalization processes could slow more than expected this year.

The most obvious case is that of tourist activity. With the new restrictions, for example imposed by Canada, there will be a fresh blow to tourism activity at least during the spring. However, it should not be excluded that these measures extend to the summer.

Health protectionism, such as the European Union’s decision to monitor the export of vaccines produced in the region, is also alarming for countries that do not have the capacity to produce their own vaccines.

In short, the observed picture paints a more complex situation of normalization of social and economic life during this year.

Returning to the case of Israel, everything indicates that it will be the first country to feed more than 80 percent of its population, as is its target for the month of May.

This would theoretically allow for so-called “herd immunity”.

We will have to consider this case carefully to learn lessons that may be applicable to Mexico.

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