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If you think the pandemic will soon be over near you . . .

Israel offers you a sobering 2nd thought.

Israel is, of course, the country with by far the largest proportion of its citizens vaccinated against COVID-19.

The good news from that fast mass vaccination program is that serious infections, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19 have dropped dramatically in Israel, especially among seniors and the most vulnerable.

But the bad – and sobering – news is that the rate of those drops has slowed down quite significantly, in large part because of the many people who have still not been immunized, and many of whom will presumably stay reluctant to get vaccinated for the foreseeable future, which is why “Israel remains short of the 70% mark that public health experts say is the minimum required level for mass vaccination to turn the tide against the pandemic in a given country“.

Surveys tell us that anywhere from 20-30 % of the population in North America is also still reluctant to get vaccinated and if that holds up, it will be a long while yet before this pandemic is behind us.