Why Has Israel Succeeded At COVID Vaccination?

This post is by Elad Gil from Elad Blog

Israel has pulled ahead of much in the world in its rate of vaccinating its citizens - with roughly 1% of the entire population vaccinated per day and over 23% of the country vaccinated in the first few weeks. The country hopes to have the entire population over age 16 vaccinated for COVID by end of March.

Israel focused on first vaccinating people by age group (and then comorbidity) with the idea that if you vaccinate the 20% of the country that represent 95% of the deaths, you can avoid deaths from COVID.

% of Israeli population within a certain age vaccinated by 1/13/21. Chart via Segal Eran

Early data is starting to suggest Israel’s approach is working. For example, in a cohort of 200,000 people vaccinated in Israel, there was a 12X drop in COVID cases by day15-22 of a single dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The right hand column below is day since first shot to result. The left hand side is # positive for COVID.

In parallel much of the rest of the world has been slower on rolling out vaccination with UAE as an exception. 

After speaking to a number of members of the Israeli public health community involved with COVID, the following picture emerges on why Israel has been so successful:

1. Focus on simplicity & pragmatism. 

The biggest takeaway is a focus on simplicity and pragmatism. For example, the criteria for vaccination are simple - you are either a healthcare worker (including nursing homes & (Read more...)