On Sunday, Israel ended its outdoor mask mandate and reopened schools for the first time since September 2020. The past months had seen the country distinguish itself as a world leader in vaccinations, with 56 percent of the population now fully vaccinated according to The New York Times. Israel has been making rapid steps towards re-opening, introducing a “green pass” system that allows people who have been vaccinated or had a prior infection to dine indoors, attend sports events, religious services, and other large gatherings, and stay in hotels. Israeli health expert Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science projected that around 85 percent of the 16-and-older population are already immune from either prior infection or from vaccinations. However, in a recent interview, Israel’s coronavirus czar Prof. Nachman Ash expressed concern over a new variant that he said may be able to cause infection in vaccinated people.
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