Israel has recently experienced a spike in COVID cases after speedily vaccinating a majority of its countrymen. Now, the government is embarking on the world's first vaccine booster program and enabling some sort of vaccine passport system where "fully vaccinated" means having had three shots of the COVID vaccine.
However, an Israeli health minister has been caught saying how the vaccine passports do not actually have any scientific or "epidemiological justification."
Israel vaccinated its citizens in December 2020, with two doses three weeks apart. Their rapid inoculation became a world example, but when the government lifted the lockdown and let their citizens travel, they soon came home with the Delta variant, the Evening Standard reported. When Naftali Bennett succeeded Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister, he promised "we can beat COVID-19 in five weeks." However, the country now has the "the second-highest level of new cases per capita in the world," with their COVID wards that closed in April reopening.
In Israel, "green pass" vaccine passports were implemented via their smartphones. This system allows anyone over the age of 12 who are vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19 or has presented a negative test result to attend large events and visit public spaces. It came into effect on July 29. But this vaccine passport has been revealed to be implemented not for scientific purposes.
"Epidemiologically, it's true," that they are not justified, Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz told Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, unaware that his conversation prior to a cabinet meeting was being broadcast live on Israel's Channel 12, the Jewish News Syndicate.
NOQ Report noted how Horowitz had unknowingly declared live on television that there was no no epidemiological justification for the COVID passport and was only intended to pressure citizens to get the COVID vaccine.
"The thing is, I'm telling you, our problem is people who don't get vaccinated. We need [to influence] them a bit; otherwise, we won't get out of this [pandemic]," Horowitz said.
He also acknowledged that in most venues, the vaccine passport system was not even being enforced.
Watch Horowitz tell Shaked the above in this video below:
NEW - Israeli Ministry of Health (right) recorded saying to the Minister of Interior (left) "there is no medical or epidemiological justification for the Covid passport, it is only intended to pressure the unvaccinated to vaccinate".pic.twitter.com/c3oAOpZdEE
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) September 13, 2021
In the early days of its establishment, Israel's vaccine passport was touted as an "early vision of how we leave lockdown." The country had an astonishing 78% vaccination rate that was achieved in a speedy manner. Now, the country is experiencing another wave of COVID infections thanks to the delta variant of the coronavirus.
In an effort to fight the new wave of COVID cases, Israelis aged 60 and up began receiving a third vaccine dose on July 30. Israeli national coronavirus czar, Salman Zarka announced earlier this month that they are already considering a fourth dose of the COVID vaccine. He announced, "Given that the virus is here and will continue to be here, we also need to prepare for a fourth injection."