Health officials in Israel are reportedly considering “herd immunity through mass infection” due to the low hospitalization and death rates of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, which has caused the pandemic’s latest surge.
The Times of Israel reported Wednesday:
Israel recorded almost 3,000 new coronavirus cases for the second day in a row, according to data released Wednesday, as the infection rate continued to climb and senior Health Ministry officials were reportedly weighing a switch to a policy of reaching herd immunity through mass infection.
Ministry data published Wednesday morning showed 2,967 infections were confirmed on Tuesday, a similar number to the previous day, which had been a three-month high.
However, the massive rise in infections has yet to translate to a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations and serious cases. There were 88 serious patients, a similar number to the past few weeks, including 39 on ventilators and 18 on ECMO machines.
In light of the lack of immediate rise in serious illness, Channel 12 news reported Tuesday evening that senior officials in the Health Ministry have recently raised the option of switching to a “mass infection model.”
Israel was one of the first countries to impose new restrictions due to the highly infectious omicron variant, barring travel from all over the world — including the U.S. — except for contestants in the Miss Universe pageant earlier this month.
Now, however, after South African health officials declined to impose new domestic coronavirus restrictions, and after data in highly-vaccinated Israel have suggested low risks of serious illness, Israel is reportedly considering a new approach.
Vaccines, particularly when boosted with a third dose, are considered effective in lowering the risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.