Over 12,000 Israelis tested positive for COVID-19 after receiving vaccine

Over 12,000 in Israel test positive to COVID-19 following vaccination
EJ
By Emeh Joy

More than 12,000 people in Israel have reportedly tested positive for the novel coronavirus after receiving the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Israeli's health ministry carried out COVID-19 test on about 189,000 people after receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The results of the tests showed that 6.6 per cent of the people tested positive for the virus.

Nachman Ash, Israel's national coordinator on the pandemic, said earlier about the Pfizer vaccine that it was "less effective than we had thought".

Why are vaccinated Israelis still testing positive?

It might come as a surprise to many that vaccinated Israelis still tested positive to the coronavirus infection. This would most likely call for public concerns.

However, most people don't know that Pfizer's vaccine only starts taking effect about 8-10 days after the first shot and reaches full protective potential only after the second dose.

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is only 50% effective after 8-10 days of vaccination. This is likely why thousands of Israelis still test positive even after receiving the first vaccine dose.

This most likely explains why many Israelis test positive to the coronavirus after getting their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This highlights the need for people to keep protecting themselves for days and even weeks after their vaccination. This is because it takes the body some time to develop effective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the virus that causes COVID-19.

The Pfizer vaccine contains the genetic code for the spike proteins on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which, when injected trains the body's immune system to recognize the spike protein on the surface of an invading virus.

The vaccine injected further causes the creation of antibodies that will launch an attack on the invading virus.

However, this whole process takes time, and from studies of the vaccine so far, immunity to the virus after the first injection comes after 8-10 days. After 10 days, the vaccine shot offers only about 50 per cent protection.

This is why a second dose of the vaccine is needed. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine is given 21 days after the first and is vital for strengthening the immune system.

The second dose of the vaccine brings its effectiveness up to 95 per cent. Thus, ensuring that immunity lasts longer. However, this does not ultimately mean the Pfizer vaccine offers a lifetime immunity. Scientists can't tell for now how long the vaccine's immunity will last.

Israel's COVID-19 vaccine campaign and results so far

Israel launched its coronavirus vaccination campaign on December 19, 2020. The vaccine campaign aimed to inoculate first the older adults, those with chronic health conditions and health workers.

More than a quarter of Israelis have already received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shot for the first time while about 3.5 per cent of the population have received their second dose of the vaccine.

Isreal's Health Minister, Yuli Edelstein, said that the nation had vaccinated more than 2.2 million people out of its 9 million inhabitants.

However, despite the massive vaccine campaigns, the country is still experiencing high infection rates with the country now in its third pandemic lockdown.

So far, Isreal has recorded more than 500,000 cases of coronavirus and up to 4,000 deaths.

The increase in the viral infections despite vaccinations and lockdown measures have been linked to the virus mutations, and some people disregarding the ban on social media gatherings.

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