Health Ministry data showed on Wednesday a frightening trend in hospitals, with COVID-19 patients getting younger.
According to a ministry report, 669 Israelis under the age of 60 were hospitalized in September due to complications of the disease.
Of the gravely ill in that age group, 531 patients were unvaccinated, 120 had their first two shots of the COVID-19 vaccine and just 18 had received a third booster shot. Unvaccinated Israelis accounted for almost 80% of severe cases in September, almost twice their relative share of the population.
Deaths among Israelis under 60 due to complications of COVID-19 were also much more common among the unvaccinated. Of the 40 coronavirus-related deaths recorded since the beginning of September among Israelis younger than 60, 28 were unvaccinated, 10 were doubly jabbed and only two victims had had their supplementary vaccine dose.
The decline in the average age of the seriously ill and victims can be largely attributed to Israel's trailblazing vaccine booster shot campaign as younger Israelis are less likely to be vaccinated with all three doses.
Israel in July began offering a booster shot to citizens over 60 or those belonging to other high-risk groups, later opening the option to all Israelis aged 12 and over. So far, 3,123,303 Israelis have been thrice vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry reported 3,642 Israelis have tested positive out of some 64,000 tests carried out over since midnight, putting the country's infection rate at 5.9% — a slight increase compared to the previous three days.
Israeli hospitals were treating 726 COVID-19 patients in serious condition, 191 of them were connected to ventilators.
Since the onset of the pandemic in Israel, 7,591 patients succumbed to complications of COVID-19, seven of them on Wednesday alone — three of the deceased were not vaccinated, three were vaccinated with two doses and one was vaccinated with a booster shot.