Israel says the Delta variant is infecting vaccinated people, representing as many as 50% of new cases. But they’re less severe.

As Israel faces a surge in cases driven by the Delta variant, its health officials suggested that as many as half of new cases were among people who’d been vaccinated. Fully vaccinated people who’ve come into contact with the Delta variant will have to quarantine, Chezy Levy, the director-general of Israel’s health ministry, said on Wednesday, Haaretz reported. Though they are preliminary, the figures underline the worry that the Delta variant could mean the virus continues to spread even in places like Israel where large portions of the population have been vaccinated. New daily cases reported in Israel have jumped to over 100, the highest level there since May.

About 70% of the cases have been caused by the Delta variant, Levy said on Monday. As of Thursday, about 57% of Israel’s population had been fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University data. On Monday, Mike Ryan, the executive director of the World Health Organization’s health-emergencies program, said the Delta variant could «be more lethal because it’s more efficient in the way it transmits between humans». Two doses of the vaccines appear to be protective against Delta.

An analysis by UK health officials found that two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine were 88% effective against Delta while a single shot was 33% effective. In the UK, where the Delta variant makes up more than 90% of cases, 26 of 73 total deaths associated with the Delta variant were among people who had been fully vaccinated, The Telegraph reported this week.

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Source: Marianne Guenot | Business Insider

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