Two Israeli men in their twenties with no preexisting health conditions died of COVID-19 within hours of each other on Thursday.
Ghazi Zoabi, 23, from the northern city of Nazareth, collapsed in his home and was hospitalized in critical condition. Doctors later pronounced his death.
He had received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to Hebrew media reports.
Another man, 26, who was not identified, died earlier Thursday in Jerusalem. The resident of Ras al-Amud was brought to Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital in serious condition, where he tested positive for the virus. He died in the hospital.
Neither man was reported to have any underlying health conditions.
The deaths come as officials have warned the virus is increasingly causing serious symptoms in younger people and pregnant women, a shift that has been blamed on new variants of the disease.
Israel’s largest HMO issued a report Thursday on the British coronavirus variant, which it says was the likely cause of a 70 percent rise last month in serious COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated Israelis.
Health officials have urged pregnant women and all Israelis over 16 to get vaccinated.
On Sunday, a 32-year-old woman died of COVID-19 and doctors were unable to save her 30-week fetus in an emergency C-section, a Jerusalem hospital said. The woman, Osnat Ben Shitrit, was healthy until she recently contracted the coronavirus, and previously had four smooth pregnancies that ended in straightforward births, a spokeswoman for Hadassah Medical Center told The Times of Israel.
As of Thursday, 755 Israelis were in serious condition from the virus, including 255 on ventilators. The death toll since the start of the pandemic stood at 5,687.
Currently, 38 children are hospitalized with COVID-19. But according to Channel 12, for 70% of them, the hospitalization is due to other health conditions.