In an alarming new development, the particularly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19 has infected some fully vaccinated adults in Israel, officials there have reported.
Of more than 100 daily cases amid an outbreak of the delta variant, half were children younger than 16., The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Most of them hadn’t yet been vaccinated, according to Dr. Ran Balicer, head of a COVID-19 advisory advisor panel on COVID-19 for the Israeli government.
But half of the adults infected had been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, Balicer said.
The Journal reported that the delta variant likely caused about 90% of the new infections in Israel.
Spurred by the new information, the Israeli government has now reimposed an indoor mask mandate and quickly expanded its vaccination program to include children ages 12 to 15.
The World Health Organization on Friday also warned everyone, even those fully vaccinated, to “play it safe” and continue to wear a mask and maintain social distancing in light of the large numbers of people who remain unvaccinated and the emergence of the delta variant, which is called the “most transmissible” form of the coronavirus identified to date.
“People cannot feel safe just because they had the two doses. They still need to protect themselves,” Dr. Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director-general for access to medicines, said at a news briefing in Geneva. “Vaccine alone won’t stop community transmission.”
“People need to continue to use masks consistently, be in ventilated spaces, [use] hand hygiene … [practice] physical distance, avoid crowding.”