The Times of Israel reports Sunday marked the first day of nationwide serological tests, which are conducted via a finger prick, and provides results within 15 minutes. Ahead of the new school year, Israel hopes the mandatory testing will help the country gain research about the number of unvaccinated youths who have developed protection against the coronavirus.
The joint project is being operated by the health and education ministries and by the IDF Home Front Command, with 1,400 teams conducting blood tests at various locations spread across the country in a bid to reach as many of Israel’s 1.4 million children as possible.
Those children who are found to have antibodies will be granted a “Green Pass,” exempting them from mandatory isolation should they be exposed to someone COVID-positive.
In a statement Sunday from the Jerusalem municipality announcing Israel’s “largest serological operation,” Mayor Moshe Leon urged parents to bring their children for the free 15-minute test done by finger pin-prick.
According to Israel’s Health Ministry, there are 67,510 active COVID cases in the country, with 1,148 people hospitalized, 680 patients in serious condition and 107 on ventilators. Meanwhile, nearly 41 percent of children ages 12-15 have already received one COVID vaccination dose, as have 79 percent of those ages 16-19.