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Israel to give fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot to people over 60

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Israel to give fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot to people over 60

Israel will now offer a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to an expanded group of people, as it works to control a wave of the highly infectious Omicron variant.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday that the country would make vaccines available to people over the age of 60 and medical workers, Reuters reported. This is in addition to the second booster shot, which was approved last week for immunocompromised individuals and the elderly living in care homes. The Prime Minister indicated that the Director-General of the Ministry of Health Nachman Aish would approve the expanded booster shot campaign.

About 60 percent of Israel’s 9.4 million people have been fully vaccinated with either their most recent second dose or a booster dose, mostly with the Pfizer vaccine. However, even though a fourth dose is possible for some, hundreds of thousands who are eligible to receive their third dose have not.

Meanwhile, the Omicron variant has caused a worldwide wave of infections, with an average of 1 million cases per day between December 24 and December 30, according to Reuters data. Deaths are not rising as dramatically.

Bennett estimated that the number of cases in Israel would also reach a record high, with 50,000 people infected daily soon. The country could tighten eligibility for testing to address long lines at testing stations.

Ash said that Omicron could push Israel towards herd immunity. “[Infection] numbers must be very high to reach herd immunity,” Ash said earlier, Reuters reported. “It’s possible, but we don’t want to reach that through infection, we want that to happen as a result of many people being vaccinated.”

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Siya has a master’s degree in Marketing and editor with passion. He holds 7 years’ experience in this field. She holds a keen interest in the know-how of what is brewing in healthcare and science.

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