The committee of experts that advises the Government of Israel in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic approved on Tuesday night the application of the fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine to people over 60 years of age, immunosuppressed and workers of the Health.
Israel seeks to stay at the forefront of vaccination worldwide, this time by announcing a fourth dose of the preparation against Covid-19, in a renewed fight against the Omicron variant. The country could become the first in the world to start applying this measure, targeting certain groups of the population.
The measure was approved on Tuesday, December 21, by the committee of experts that advises the Government in the response to the pandemic.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett welcomed the decision and promised to start the campaign “immediately” to stop the fifth wave and the spread of the new lineage of the coronavirus that as of Tuesday, December 21, already left 340 confirmed cases in the country .
“This is wonderful news that will help us overcome this wave of the Omicron variant that is hitting the entire world,” Bennett said in a statement after the decision of the expert committee was known.
For the measure to take effect, the final approval of the director general of the Ministry of Health, Nachman Ash, is needed. However, the official went ahead and celebrated the news on Twitter. “The priority is to protect older adults, who are most vulnerable, and to keep medical personnel safe,” he said.
Fourth dose to fight the Omicron variant
The expert committee, called the Pandemic Treatment Personnel, recommended that adults over 60, medical personnel and other risk groups such as the immunocompromised receive the fourth dose, after having waited at least four months from the third dose.
In Israel, more than four million people, of the 9.2 million inhabitants, already have the third dose of the Pfizer vaccine, with which they managed to contain the fourth wave of the pandemic in the middle of this year.
“The citizens of Israel were the first in the world to receive the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and we continue to pioneer the fourth dose as well,” Bennett was quoted as saying by local media.
The focus of the vaccination campaign is also placed on children between 5 and 11 years old, who register very low inoculation figures, since only 11% have received at least one dose.
According to The Times of Israel, Professor Galia Rahav, who heads the infectious diseases unit at Sheba Medical Center and is part of the expert panel advising the Government, “the decision to recommend the additional reinforcements ‘was not simple’ given the shortage of data showing that the protection offered by the third dose was waning. But at the same time, there are terrifying figures of what is happening in the rest of the world ”, in relation to the Omicron variant, said the expert.
In addition to the Omicron cases confirmed to date, the country also reported the first death, a consequence of the new variant. This is a 60-year-old man with previous pathologies and who had two doses of the vaccine.
With EFE and local media