As adults over the age of 40 are vaccinated at an almost insane rate, Israel is seeing a sharp increase in the number of children and adolescents infected with coronavirus, according to Ministry of Health statistics, as per the Jerusalem Post.
More than 50,000 children and adolescents have been diagnosed with coronavirus since the beginning of the month, far more than Israel has seen in any month during the first or second wave.
“I received a letter from the Israeli Pediatric Association saying that they are very concerned about the rate of disease among younger students,” Health Minister Yuli Edelstein told The Jerusalem Post. “It’s something I haven’t seen previously”.
Hadassah Medical Center-University of Jerusalem opened the first coronavirus intensive care unit for children in Israel last weekend , with four patients. Today, according to the hospital, there are seven children treated at the hospital, two of whom are intubated and in serious condition.
Instead of about 29 percent of new cases from children and adolescents, as per the second wave statistics, there are now about 40 percent of cases, Alroy-Preis, the head of Public Health Services, told the Knesset on Monday. The highest percentage was in children aged between six and nine years, which is unheard of.
And, according to Cyrille Cohen, head of the immunotherapy lab at Bar-Ilan University, the number appears to be rising.
Health officials in Israel are having difficulty explaining the outbreak, but one hypothesis is that it is linked to the British mutation, which has spread rapidly in Israel.
It does not seem to be a coincidence with the massive vaccination campaign in Israel though, the country with the highest vaccination rate in the world.