While many Western countries are still struggling to expand the population with the full coronavirus vaccination schedule, Israel enter unfamiliar terrain, since from this Friday he will begin to give a third injection at People over 60 years.
To boost the campaign, President Isaac Herzog, 60, and his wife Michal received the third dose of Pfizer / BioNTech at Sheba Hospital in the Tel Aviv suburbs. Also the former Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, gave himself a third injection.
“We started the vaccination reinforcement campaign” so life can get back to normal as soon as possible, President Herzog declared after getting vaccinated.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu receives a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Photo: AFP
The administration of three doses of the anticovid vaccine reinforces the protection against the contagious delta variant, according to the Pfizer laboratory, but has not been approved by the health authorities from the United States or the European Union.
Israel’s decision “is based on expert opinion, logic, but not on solid scientific evidence. But that’s okay, “Hagai Levine, an epidemiologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told AFP.
“In public health and medicine, sometimes you make decisions based on your experience and your reasoning,” he added.
Israel deployed a rapid vaccination campaign thanks to an agreement with Pfizer / BioNTech and lifted many restrictions in June, when new covid-19 infections had fallen from 10,000 to less than 100 daily.
The strategy of applying a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine has not yet been approved in the US or Europe. Photo: AFP
But infections have rebounded in recent weeks and measures such as the mandatory use of a mask in closed public spaces have returned.
A 55% of its nine million inhabitants they have the full vaccination schedule, but about a million refuse the injections.
Faced with the increase in infections, the Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, announced a campaign to inject a third dose to people aged 60 and over due to the fear aroused by the contagious Delta variant.
In mid-July, the government had authorized this third injection to the patients with severe immunosuppression, that is, those whose weak immune systems make them particularly vulnerable to the virus.
“Israel is pioneering taking the lead with a third dose of the vaccine for people 60 and over,” said Bennett, 49, who accompanied President Herzog to the hospital for the injection on Friday.
The Prime Minister assured that his government “is open to sharing all the information that it will obtain from this audacious measure.”
According to Pfizer, “a third dose has neutralizing effects against the Delta variant, [que son] five times higher among the young and more than eleven times among the oldest. “
But for now, the US drug regulator FDA, whose recommendations are routinely followed by Israel, has not given the green light to injecting a third dose.
In the last 24 hours, Israel recorded more than 2,100 COVID-19 cases, according to the data of Friday. In addition, there are 286 hospitalized patients, 160 in critical condition.