About half of the country’s 600 patients currently hospitalized with serious illness have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, a rare event in 5.4 million fully vaccinated people.
The majority of these patients received two doses of the vaccine at least five months ago, are over 60 years of age and also suffer from chronic illnesses. They range from diabetes to heart and lung disease, as well as cancers and inflammatory diseases that are treated with drugs that suppress the immune system, according to Reuters interviews with 11 doctors, health specialists and officials.
Such “groundbreaking” cases have become at the heart of a global debate over whether and to whom highly vaccinated countries should give booster doses of vaccines.
Israel began offering booster doses to people aged 60 and over in July, and has since expanded that eligibility.
The United States, citing data from Israel and other findings, said Wednesday it will make booster doses available to all Americans from September.
Other countries, including France and Germany, have so far limited their recall plans to the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
Read more: Covid booster vaccines for all people over 50 could be suspended