Politics

Israel to Give 4th Vaccine Dose to Healthcare Workers and Elderly


  • Israel is set to administer a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, authorities said Tuesday.
  • It’s preparing to face a potential surge in cases as the Omicron variant spreads across the globe.
  • Israel has reported 341 cases of the Omicron variant so far and one death related to the new strain.

Israel is set to begin administering a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to medical personnel and people who are 60 or older, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Tuesday.

The announcement came after Israel’s Pandemic Treatment Staff, a panel of medical experts, voted to recommend the fourth jab on the same day, according to The Times of Israel.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s said in a statement that he “welcomes” the decision made by the panel, calling it “wonderful news” as the country prepares to face a surge in cases with the onset of the Omicron variant. 

“The citizens of Israel were the first in the world to receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and we are continuing to pioneer with the fourth dose as well,” he said.

“I call on everyone who meets the criteria that the members of the committee have set: Go and get vaccinated,” he added. “Take responsibility for the health and livelihoods of us all. The vaccines save lives.”

Israel has reported a total of 341 cases of the Omicron variant, according to multiple outlets. The country also reported its first death related to the new variant, though the 60-year-old victim had been hospitalized for non-COVID-related conditions prior to his death. 

Israel has recorded around 1.36 million COVID-19 cases and reported 8,232 coronavirus-related deaths, per data from Reuters.

Currently, Israel only considers people fully vaccinated if they take a booster shot within six months of receiving their second jab.

Despite leading the world in announcing additional booster jabs, Israel has only given two shots to around 65% of its population, largely because of its relatively young populace. A third of Israelis are under the age of 14, per The BBC.

On Monday, Israel banned travel to 10 countries, including the US and Canada, over concerns of the Omicron variant.



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