So far, Israel has registered four cases infected with the new variant, while general morbidity remains low.
There are indications that individuals fully vaccinated against corona within six months or with the booster are also protected against the Omicron variant, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said on Tuesday, after another two cases were identified, bringing the total to four.
“In the coming days we will have more accurate information about the efficacy of the vaccine against Omicron, but there is already room for optimism, and there are initial indications that those who are vaccinated with a vaccine still valid or with a booster will also be protected from this variant,” Horowitz said while visiting the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba with Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman.
“The vaccine is really crucial right now,” said Horowitz. “Anyone who is exposed to the variant without a vaccine will put themselves at unnecessary risk.”
Later in the evening, a report by Channel 12 said the Pfizer vaccine is just slightly less effective in preventing infection with Omicron than with Delta – 90% as opposed to 95% – while it is as effective – around 93% – in preventing serious symptoms at least for those vaccinated with a booster.
According to the report, the ability of the variant to infect is higher than Delta but not as much as feared – around 1.3 times higher.