Iceland is the European vaccination champion. 96 percent of women and 90 percent of men over the age of 16 have received at least one corona vaccination. 75 percent of the 300,000 inhabitants have already been vaccinated twice. Nevertheless, the number of cases has been increasing rapidly since mid-July. While there was never more than a maximum of 45 cases per day throughout the year, it has been well over 100 for a good two weeks.
The government reacted and imposed restrictions that were actually a thing of the past. There is again a distance requirement of one meter and a mask requirement indoors. Restaurants must introduce access restrictions, bars close earlier. Events are limited to 200 people.
No herd immunity
Experts are disappointed with the vaccine effect. Chief epidemiologist Thorolfur Gudnason said at a press conference that it had not been possible to achieve herd immunity. He cited the nightlife in the capital Reykjavik and entry into Iceland as the reason for the increase. Since the beginning of July there has been no testing of vaccinated people at the border, among other things because of a lack of staff. Many cases have therefore remained undiscovered for a long time.
The vaccinated now make up the majority of cases. Starting next week, every Icelander who returns home must therefore take a corona test within 48 hours.
Israel: Biggest increase in six months
Increasing numbers despite vaccination: Israel tightened mask requirements(00:50)
The situation in Israel is similar. On Tuesday, more than 6,000 corona infections were recorded for the first time in six months. At the same time, the number of seriously ill patients is approaching the 400 mark. This is despite the fact that a good 58 percent of Israelis are fully vaccinated.
In view of the increasing number of infections, stricter measures have been in place since Sunday, including a mask requirement for outdoor events with more than 100 participants. Even events with fewer than 100 participants are only allowed to visit those who have been vaccinated, recovered or people with a negative corona test result. Children now also have to show a negative corona test result when they enter. Representatives of the Ministry of Health do not rule out further tightening.
The measures were also relaxed in Israel. The masks fell in June and numerous restrictions were lifted. Now the reins have been tightened again and restrictions have been reintroduced. Including a mask requirement for outdoor events with more than 100 participants, certificate requirement for various locations and events, corona tests for children. Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz also swore citizens to lockdown in September if the numbers do not decline.
How much use is the third spade?
In both countries, the delta variant is responsible for the climbs. According to the Israeli government, the vaccination only prevents corona infection by 39 percent and serious illnesses by 91 percent. According to Icelandic data, the vaccination protects 60 percent against Delta and prevents serious illnesses in 90 percent of cases.
Israel is the first country to give the population a third dose of vaccine for people over the age of 60. Experts call for the population in Iceland to be vaccinated for the third time soon. How effective this booster spades is against Delta is not yet clear. (vof)