INTERNATIONAL – Israel on Sunday kicked off a massive campaign of Covid-19 serological testing for children three years and older. The authorities hope to study the level of antibodies developed by unvaccinated young people on the eve of the start of the school year.
Maxence GEVIN with AFP –
Young people under a magnifying glass. Israeli authorities announced on Sunday the launch of a campaign of serological tests against Covid-19 for children aged 3 to 12. The government hopes to establish a reliable estimate of the proportion of young people already infected with the disease, all in a context of imminent back to school. When resuming lessons, children who have developed enough antibodies will not be forced to isolate themselves if they are exposed to an infected person.
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Covid-19: the challenge of vaccination
In a test center in the coastal town of Netahya, Zohar was pleasantly surprised to learn that her son had already contracted Covid-19. “The results showed that my son has antibodies, apparently he was sick”, she told AFP. “This means that he will get a ‘green pass’ and that he will be able to go to school without risk”, she rejoiced.
This major national initiative is jointly led by the ministries of health and education and the Israeli military. It is based on free 15-minute tests carried out by pricking the finger.
Increased risk of suicide among young people
During the coming school year, the Zionist state wants at all costs to avoid as many school closings as possible. According to the Director General of the Ministry of Education, Yigal Slovik, these have led to “social and emotional damage” among students in 2020. As a direct consequence, “suicide risk” have “increased by 44%”. There is no question either, for the government, of postponing the start of the new school year, scheduled for September 1.
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In total, more than 970,000 contaminations have officially been recorded in Israel since the start of the pandemic, including more than 6,700 deaths. The country was, however, one of the first in the world to launch a mass vaccination campaign. More than 5.4 million people have thus completed their vaccination schedule, or 58% of the population. Unfortunately, contaminations have started to rise again in recent weeks with the spread of the Delta variant, mainly among unvaccinated adults.
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