Israeli officials have been caught admitting that in many situations, the country’s ‘Green Pass’ is not “medically justified,” but exists to pressure citizens into getting vaccinated.
Israelis who want to visit bars, restaurants, swimming pools, and all indoor or outdoor events of more than 100 people must show their ‘Green Pass’, a document proving they’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19 or have recently recovered from the disease.
However, the ‘Green Pass’ is less of a public health measure and more of a method of forcing the populace to get the shot, according to footage of cabinet ministers overheard before a meeting on Sunday, broadcast by Israel’s Channel 12 News that night and reported by the Times of Israel.
Speaking in Hebrew, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked told Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz that “you can remove the Green Pass for outdoor restaurants.”
“In pools, too, not just in restaurants. Epidemiologically it’s correct,” Horowitz responded. “The thing is, I’m telling you this, our problem is people who don’t get vaccinated. We need that they… otherwise… we will not get out of this,” he added.
Horowitz then added that while the pass doesn’t have “medical justification” in some scenarios, he doesn’t want to start making exceptions, “because then they will say ‘if not pools, then why water parks?’”
Israel is one of the most widely vaccinated countries in the world, with 61 percent of the entire population fully inoculated, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In addition, the country is currently administering booster shots, which are currently available for everyone over the age of 30.
Nevertheless, daily cases pushed to record highs above 10,000 at the beginning of this month, and deaths have climbed to their highest point since spring. Data from Israel shows that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine – the most widely administered in the Jewish state – is only around 39% effective against the so-called Delta variant of the virus, but Israeli authorities have doubled down, rolling out booster shots and hinting that further boosters every six months could become a part of “life from now on.”
Despite the waning efficacy of the Pfizer vaccines, officials claim that the majority of those hospitalized in Israel are unvaccinated. “You can really see now,” Horowitz said in Sunday’s footage. “Let’s say a person under 60-65 in critical condition arrives at a hospital, without a doubt, he’s unvaccinated.”
Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern, who joined in the conversation at this point, added: “It’s irritating that [the unvaccinated] are taking up beds” in coronavirus wards.
Israel’s ‘Green Pass’, as it currently exists, is valid for up to six months past the most recent vaccine dose, meaning that for most of the population, a third shot will soon be needed to enter most public places. Whatever the health benefits of this system, Pfizer executives are enthused. Philip Dormitzer, the chief scientific officer at Pfizer, stoked some controversy last week when he described Israel as “a sort of laboratory” to study the vaccine’s rollout.
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