Israel: Why Is All-Cause Mortality Increasing since Mid-February?

On April 1, Israeli data was removed from Euromomo.

By early March, Israel had vaccinated about 90% of its 65+ population and about 50% of its entire population. Covid deaths had been decreasing since the end of January, as expected, although not any faster than in some other countries with a very low vaccination rate, such as South Africa.

Concerningly, however, Israel has seen a renewed and continued increase in all-cause mortality since mid-February; in fact, by March 21, Israel reported the highest excess mortality of all countries participating in Euromomo. In contrast, many other European countries currently report a post winter wave negative excess mortality.

Israel EuroMomo

The cause behind this renewed increase in Israeli all-cause mortality appears to be unclear. According to Israeli newspaper YNet, the director of an Israeli clinic explained that they are currently seeing “a murky wave of heart attacks”. The director believes that this might be due to the “persistent stressful situation” and the “neglect of preventive medical care”. Although quite a few cases of post-vaccination heart muscle inflammation, heart failure and heart attacks have been reported in Israel since December (see e.g. 1, 2, 3), the hospital director argues that “a connection to heart damage from the vaccine has not yet been proven to be significant.”

Nevertheless, given the paramount global importance of this question, Israeli and international public health authorities may want to answer it as quickly as possible.

Update 1: On April 1, Israeli data disappeared from the Euromomo website; most likely, this is simply because Israel has not yet reported mortality data for week 12, possibly due to the Passover holiday. The latest archived version including Israel (up to week 11) can be found here.

Update 2: Apparently, the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics has not updated its mortality data since February 28 (unclear why). Thus it is unclear from where Euromomo got the data for weeks 8 to 11.

Update 3: Israeli authorities have confirmed to a covid analyst that there was a “manual delay in reporting, due to holidays” and that “they’ll be back on the site next week”.

Daily covid deaths in Israel (high vaccination rate), Sweden (low vaccination rate), and South Africa (very low vaccination rate): the decrease since late January has been almost identical.

Israel Sweden South Africa Deaths

Daily covid deaths in Israel, Sweden, and South Africa (OWD)

Originally published in Swiss Policy Research

 

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