Less than three percent of all seriously ill COVID-19 patients in Israel have been fully vaccinated, according to Health Ministry figures released Sunday, in the latest figures proving the success of coronavirus vaccines,
Of the 6,095 coronavirus patients hospitalized in serious or critical condition since the start of Israel’s vaccination campaign, only 175, or 2.87 percent, had received the second vaccination dose, the figures show.
At the same time, 4,589 patients, or 75% of those in serious or critical condition, had not received a first dose.
Almost 5 million Israelis — 4,929,084 — have received at least one vaccine dose, and 3,716,439 have received both shots.
The Health Ministry said Sunday that 1,923 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 800,721.
The rate of positive tests has continued its steep drop and now stands at 4.3%, after surpassing 10% in January.
There were 40,650 active cases, including 724 in serious condition, 262 listed as critical and 210 on ventilators.
The death toll climbed to 5,861.
According to the Health Ministry data, 25% of serious cases are now under the age of 50. Serious cases among younger people have become more common as new variants spread in recent months.
The promising figures come as Israel enters the next exit phase from its third nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
On Sunday, much of the economy reopened, including restaurants, cafes, school grades 7-10 in low-to-medium infection areas, event venues, attractions and hotels.
Higher education institutions and religious seminaries were opened to vaccinated or recovered people and rules on gatherings and worship were relaxed.
The cabinet also decided to ease restrictions on international travel and sidelined a highly controversial committee that was deciding who could enter the country while the airport remained largely shuttered.
There will no longer be an approval process for returning Israelis. In the coming days, 1,000 people a day will be able to enter the country from four locations — New York, Frankfurt, London and Paris — with the number set to go up to 3,000 later this week.
New coronavirus deaths and infections in Israel have continued to decline from highs in January, and the number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients has dropped to its lowest point since last year.
Despite the overall decline in severity of Israel’s third-wave outbreak, coronavirus czar Nachman Ash said Friday that Israel may yet be forced to enter a fourth lockdown to combat the spread of the virus as the infection rate inched back up.