search

Fauci says Israel is ‘where you wanted to be’ for COVID vaccines

‘I refer people to how successful the Israelis have been in getting virtually every age group boostered,’ says US government’s chief medical adviser

Nathan Jeffay is The Times of Israel's health and science correspondent

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks with reporters at the White House, in Washington, January 21, 2021 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks with reporters at the White House, in Washington, January 21, 2021 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The US government’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says that when it comes to coronavirus vaccines, “Israel is where you wanted to be.”

Fauci was talking to the Israeli vaccine expert Prof. Jonathan Gershoni in a video interview that will be screened Tuesday during a conference at Reichman University in Herzliya.

Gershoni asked whether Israelis could be perceived as vaccine guinea pigs, and Fauci replied: “I look at it exactly the opposite. I think Israel was really lucky they got their implementation done so quickly and so effectively, not only with initial vaccine but also with the booster program.”

The conversation took place just days after the United States decided to follow in Israel’s footsteps and offer booster shots to all adults. Israel is famous for its turbo-speed vaccination campaign, which began a year ago, and for early adoption of booster shots, which were made available to the elderly in July and to all adults in August. Boosters have been widely credited with helping Israel to recently defeat its fourth wave. 

Fauci said he hopes to see the US administering booster shots to the level that Israel is, and noted that when arguing the case for more boosters in America, he has cited Israel’s success.

“Often, when I push to get our booster program going I refer back to how successful the Israelis have been in getting virtually every age group boostered,” Fauci said.

The US government’s chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci in conversation with the Israeli vaccine expert Prof. Jonathan Gershoni, for a conference at Reichman University (courtesy of Reichman University)

“It’s very clear that the third shot of the mRNA vaccine is really important in enhancing not only the immunological response but also the clinical benefit that one gets at all age groups from the booster,” he added.

“So I look at it that Israel is where you wanted to be, not being the guinea pig, but as being right up there, getting this benefit more quickly than almost any other country.”

Fauci said that public health infrastructure globally should be bolstered in response to the pandemic and warned that “we will inevitably have another pandemic.” He added: “It may not be as severe as what were going through right now but sooner or later we’re going to get another pandemic.”

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed