IDF is first army in world to achieve herd immunity, top officer says

Some 81% of troops either been fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, with percentage expected to climb to 85% in coming weeks; confirmed cases among soldiers down to 149 from peak of 2,033 last month

Yoav Zitun, Associated Press|
The IDF announced Thursday it has vaccinated the vast majority of its soldiers, allowing the military to resume many of its normal operations.
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  • "The IDF is the first military in the world to reach herd immunity," said Maj. Gen. Itzik Turgeman, the head of the military’s Technology and Logistics Directorate, which oversees its Medical Corps.
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    חיסון חיילי צה"ל בצריפין
    חיסון חיילי צה"ל בצריפין
    An IDF soldier receives the coronavirus vaccine at a medical center on Tzrifin military base
    (Photo: AFP)
    The army said that 81% of its soldiers have either been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. It expects that number to increase to 85% in the coming days.
    Confirmed cases among soldiers have also dropped to 149 as of Thursday from a peak of 2,033 last month.
    Brig. Gen. Alon Glazberg, the IDF chief medical officer, said units in which 90% of the soldiers have been vaccinated or recovered have been given "green" status. Such units have much more flexibility in terms of training, gathering and operating.
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    הרמטכ"ל אביב כוכבי מתחסן
    הרמטכ"ל אביב כוכבי מתחסן
    IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi is vaccinated against coronavirus
    (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
    "This will allow us to train and also operate in a more normal way," he told reporters. "There are still some restrictions, but in general, a green unit can go back and behave as one capsule."
    According to the IDF, about 8% of soldiers are classified as "vaccine refusers." Some of those are women in the early stages of pregnancy, while others are acting out of ideological or political motivations. Military officials said they cannot force the remaining soldiers to be vaccinated.
    Army officials said that PR efforts to promote vaccinations and inoculation centers will still operate at several large bases. It was also stated that the coronavirus vaccine will not be given to new recruits as part of their enlistment process since they receive jabs for other diseases.
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