COVID19 update, Feb. 11, 2021: Israel now has fewer over-60 than under-60 COVID hospital patients, due to age-selective vaccination drive

A few days ago, an inside source from [redacted] told me hospital admissions of older severe COVID19 patients had dropped precipitously, compensated in part by younger patients who got the British mutation, which apparently wreaks more havoc in younger people than classic COVID did.

Just now, Times of Israel reports that Israel for the first time has fewer over-60 and under-60 patients. [From the Clalit HMO data page, 60+ers account for 92.6% of all COVID19 dead.]

Graph from the Sourasky Medical Center [a.k.a., Ichilov Hospital] twitter feed

Sourasky/Ichilov is Tel-Aviv’s largest hospital, and one of the “big four” teaching hospitals [the others being Sheiba/Tel HaShomer in the suburb of Ramat Gan, Rambam in Haifa, and last but not least, Hadassah Ein Kerem in Jerusalem].

At this point, 40% of the entire Israeli population has gotten at least one dose — but at present only age 16 and over are eligible among the general population, as the severe morbidity in children is so low. According to data from, 27.8% of Israel’s population are children under 15. [They tabulate in 5-year age brackets.] That means that we have vaccinated at least 55% of the eligible population. In the 70+ bracket we have actually reached 90%, and in the 60-69 bracket we are at almost 80%. Tel-Aviv in fact offers shots to its foreign population now (live-in caregivers already were being informally vaccinated nationwide together with their clients).

Consequently, the total number of severe patients is now finally dropping.

as is daily mortality (the red broken line indicates the average over the displayed period)

Even the percentage of positive tests is coming down now

The above graphs are screenshots from the COVID19 dashboard of the Ministry of Health. As an aside, from the COVID19 data page of the Clalit HMO (both sites are in Hebrew), one can extract the mortality per 10-year age bracket as well as the number of positive cases per age bracket. 30 seconds in Excel, and you have a graph showing the apparent IFR (infection fatality rate) as a function of age. (I placed each marker in the middle of the bracket.)

Note that the Y axis is logarithmic

The two first data points are “statistics of small numbers” (two deaths in each), but beyond that point dependence is roughly linear, except for some bending down near the top. Given that 80+ers alone represent 54% of all dead, and 70+ers 79%, it may be tempting to see the ‘bending down’ at the top as a result of the vaccine campaign — but this is likely over-interpretation. Still, I’d like to make this graph again in a month.

Finally, from an article about Teva Pharmaceuticals offering to act as a contract manufacturer for vaccines, here is an image of the nerve center of our vaccine drive, the ultracold storage room in the TEVA Pharmaceuticals logistics center in Shoham (next door to the airport).

UPDATE: the Maccabi HMO has released updated figures for real-life efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine

An Israeli healthcare provider that has vaccinated half a million people with both doses of the Pfizer vaccine says that only 544 people — or 0.104% — have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

That means the effectiveness rate stands at 93 percent, Maccabi Healthcare Services announced on Thursday, after comparing its immunized members to a “diverse” control group of unvaccinated members.

“Diverse” here meaning: of similar composition in terms of age, (sub-)ethnicity, and underlying conditions in terms

Out of the 523,000 fully vaccinated people, 544 were infected with COVID, of whom 15 needed hospitalization: Eight are in mild condition, three in moderate condition, and four in severe condition.

UPDATE 2: John Campbell, after a review of where things stand in the UK and elsewhere, at 18’18” into the video treats the WHO sham ‘investigation’ at Wuhan with the respect it deserves.

UPDATE 3: preprint about this, by Eran Segal from the Weizmann Institute, at medrXiv The most interesting conclusion from that paper (as also summarized by De Standaard, in Dutch): localities that vaccinated fastest saw the earliest and strongest drop in morbidity. That puts to bed the counterargument that maybe 60+ morbidity is dropping because “the virus ran out of vulnerable old people”.

And no, it can’t be our partatch [freely: half-*rsed] third lockdown either — while tight lockdowns like our first [back in March-April 2020] may actually make some sense in densely populated countries like Israel, the third lockdown was widely ignored — and not just in the chareidi [“ultra-Orthodox”] sector but among the general population as well. Shutting down the airport is a different story — the purpose of that was to keep out potential “escape mutations”.

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