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Conceptual syringe, bottle and packaging of the Chinese/Brazilian Sinovac vaccine against COVID-19. Credit: cadu.rolim.

How China and Russia are using ‘vaccine diplomacy’ to enhance influence in the Middle...

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As countries step up their COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, the politics around vaccines has intensified. For Israel, which has become a world leader in vaccinating its own population, its reliance on Western-developed vaccines—specifically, the Pfizer-BioNTech...
Vials of Pfizer's-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Tzfat on Feb. 14, 2021. Photo by David Cohen/Flash90.

Israel signs additional agreement with Pfizer for millions of vaccines in 2022

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Israel has signed an additional agreement with Pfizer-BioNTech for the supply of millions of vaccines for the year 2022, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday. The PMO said the signing...
Tel Aviv, April 4, 2021. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.

Israel may have achieved herd immunity against COVID-19

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Israel may have reached herd immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, say experts from its largest hospital, Sheba Medical Center. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population has immunity—through vaccination or having recovered...
COVID-19 vaccines at a vaccination center in Tzfat, on Feb. 14, 2021. Photo by David Cohen/Flash90.

Pfizer vaccine found effective against COVID-19 variants

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Israeli researchers report that the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is as effective against B.1.1.7 variant of the virus, aka the U.K. variant, as it is against the original SARS-CoV-2 strain. The vaccine was found to...
A COVID-19 vaccine is administered at a vaccination center in Jerusalem on March 11, 2021. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Israeli Health Minister: More than half the population fully vaccinated

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More than half of Israel’s citizens have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said on Thursday. “We have crossed the 50 percent threshold of all Israeli citizens who are vaccinated...
Israelis in Tel Aviv on March 17, 2021. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.

Israel’s COVID reproduction rate drops to 0.59

Israel’s coronavirus reproduction rate continues to drop, according to Health Ministry data released on Wednesday, and now stands at 0.59. Of the 41,443 COVID-19 tests that the ministry conducted on Tuesday, 679 came back positive,...
Vials of Pfizer's BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centerl in Tzfat, on Feb. 14, 2021. Photo by David Cohen/Flash90.

Knesset Finance Committee approves $600 million more to battle pandemic

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The Knesset Finance Committee has approved the allocation of 2 billion shekels ($600 million) to Israel’s Health Ministry to help it deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee announced on Tuesday. The money is to...
Fifth-grade Israeli students return to the Alomot elementary school in Efrat after weeks of remote learning, Feb. 21, 2021. Photo by Gershon Elinson/Flash90.

Netanyahu: Children under 16 likely to be vaccinated by summer

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Israel will reach a critical milestone by the end of March and the beginning of April in the nationwide effort to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israel Hayom. Netanyahu said that he...
Vials of Pfizer's BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centerl in Tzfat, on Feb. 14, 2021. Photo by David Cohen/Flash90.

Pfizer vaccine 94 percent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19, new study finds

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Data from 1.2 million members of Israel’s largest health-maintenance organization shows the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 94 percent effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and 92 percent effective in preventing serious disease in vaccinated people who...
A medical worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccine injection at a vaccination center in Jerusalem, Feb. 4, 2021. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Study: Even one dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine lowers viral load and spread

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Those infected with the COVID-19 virus after receiving even a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine present a much lower transmission risk than non-vaccinated individuals, according to new Israeli research. This is because the vaccine...