In Israel, as in the United States, ultra-Orthodox communities have been hard hit by the coronavirus.
Now new data from the Health Ministry shows that one in 132 Haredi adults in Israel over the age of 65 has died from the coronavirus, compared with one in 475 adults over 65 among the general population, according to the Israel Hayom daily. That puts the COVID-19 death toll among ultra-Orthodox adults over 65 at 3.6 times that of the general population.
Haredi families in Israel often live in cramped quarters, with large families in small apartments, allowing the virus to spread easily among family members. The communal nature of the ultra-Orthodox lifestyle has made their communities particularly susceptible to the virus, as has continued resistance to social distancing measures and lockdowns. Even as the country has gone through several lockdowns, some Haredim have continued to come together for large weddings, funerals and other gatherings.
As the government has struggled to have the community comply with social distancing measures, they have flocked to get the vaccine.
“The response has been overwhelming,” a medical official familiar with the Haredi sector tells Israel Hayom, saying the lines to get the vaccine have been especially long in Haredi cities.