Israeli hospital worker with coronavirus test samples. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90) Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
coronavirus test samples


The Health Ministry announced Tuesday that doctors discovered a new Israeli variant of the coronavirus.


A new Coronavirus (COVID-19) variant has been discovered in Israel, the Health Ministry announced Tuesday.

The ministry’s Central Laboratory for Viruses published a study mapping the COVID-19 strains that exist in Israel since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020 until January.

An Israeli variant was listed among the various mutations. The strain is uncommon and has no clinical or epidemiological significance, is not related to or causes widespread infection, severe morbidity, or has an effect on vaccine efficacy.

The Israeli variant appeared in samples from July but is disappearing and the evidence for it is dwindling.

The British variant is the dominant one in Israel and appeared in over 90% of the sequenced cases in Israel in February 2021.

The improvement in Israel’s situation vis-à-vis the coronavirus is attributed to its success to rapidly vaccinate its population.

Last week, Israel celebrated a significant milestone, announcing that over 5,201,000 Israelis, some 56%, received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and over 4,649,000 received the second dose.

“We have crossed the 50% threshold of all Israeli citizens who are vaccinated … . Thanks to you, the State of Israel is defeating Corona. All that remains is to follow the [social distancing] guidelines so that the corona does not return,” stated Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein.

The rapid and successful vaccination campaign has dramatically reined in the pandemic in the country and has enabled Israel to almost fully reopen its economy, including shopping malls and cultural events.

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