Israel launches ‘green badges’ as proof of vaccination as it reopens economy

1 week ago
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The risk of becoming ill with coronavirus falls by 95.8% after the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, Israel’s health ministry has said.

The vaccine was also 98% effective in preventing breathing problems or a fever and 98.9% effective in preventing hospitalisations and death, the ministry added.

It comes only days after a vaccine efficacy study in the country concluded that the Pfizer jab is up to 85% effective after the first dose.

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Jabs cause 94% drop in infections in Israel

The latest findings were based on data collected nationally from around 1.7 million Israelis who had received both shots of the Pfizer vaccine by 30 January.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expects 95% of people aged 50 and over to have received the vaccine in the next two weeks.

The surge in Israel’s vaccination programme has meant the country can begin to restart its economy.

Most schools reopened after nearly two months of lockdown, along with museums, libraries, shopping centres and markets.

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Some restrictions on the number of people in attendance remain in place.

The Health Ministry has also rolled out a “green badge” app for those that had received their vaccine to enjoy more freedoms.

Linked to health records, the app will prove that the user has had both their jabs, and allow them entry into places such as gyms, cultural and sports events, and restaurants.

Mr Netanyahu said it was the key to “gradually opening” the country again.

Travel in to Israel remains largely sealed off, however, over concerns of variants making their way into the country from elsewhere.

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