Israel: the green light for the fourth dose of the vaccine for more than 60 years

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced Sunday that all Israelis over the age of 60 and medical staff will be able to benefit from a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, amid increased contamination linked to the highly contagious Omicron.

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Speaking at a press conference dedicated to the pandemic, Bennett said the Department of Health approved this fourth dose, two days after it was given to people at risk.

“The Omicron wave is here and we need to protect ourselves,” Bennett said.

Health authorities gave the go-ahead for the fourth dose for immunocompromised people on Thursday, following last summer’s booster dose campaign.

Shortly after the start of immunization for immunocompromised persons, the Director of the Ministry of Health, Nahman Asch, authorized the immediate administration of the fourth dose to residents of nursing homes and patients in geriatric wards.

On Thursday, Israel also received its first shipment of birth control pills from Pfizer as the number of infections continues to increase since the country’s first case of the Omicron type emerged at the end of November.

France Press agency

The past few days have seen a huge jump in Covid-19 cases without, at least, for now, leading to a significant increase in hospital admissions.

On Sunday, authorities reported 4,206 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, an increase of 195% from last week, which could quickly add pressure to the health system.

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“We can expect to have 50,000 new cases per day soon,” warned Bennett, who has reiterated his call for universal vaccination of adults and children who have not yet been vaccinated.

In a country of 9.2 million people, where more than half of the population has already received a booster dose, severe cases are currently concentrated in unvaccinated people, according to data from authorities.

In all, 1,394,407 infections have been identified since the beginning of the epidemic in Israel, including 8,244 deaths, according to official figures.

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