Israel will begin rolling out a fourth dose of a coronavirus vaccine with immediate effect. The prime minister’s office has announced that additional doses will be given to people over 60, healthcare workers and people with compromised immune systems, the prime minister’s office announced, following the recommendation of a panel of experts. about the country’s coronavirus.
“Great news, don’t waste time – get vaccinated,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement.
Those eligible for the fourth dose will be given the injection provided at least four months have passed since the third dose.
“The State of Israel continues to be at the forefront of the global effort to respond to the pandemic. Israeli citizens are the first in the world to receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and we are also continuing to pioneer the fourth dose,” said Bennett.
In a related announcement, the recommended interval between the second and third doses is also being shortened from five months to three months.
One of the members of the expert panel told Israel radio on Tuesday night that the decision to inject a fourth dose was not an easy one.
“We really don’t have immunity level data yet, like we did when we decided on the third dose, but on the other hand, there’s really scary data in the rest of the world,” said Dr. said monk Galia Rahav.
“In a situation like this, if you don’t act immediately, you’ll miss the train,” she added.
New measures: The government’s committee of ministers tasked with promoting policy on the pandemic also met on Tuesday, deciding on a number of new measures amid a new wave of infections caused by the Omicron variant.
In particular, students living in low-vaccination areas under the age of 18 can return to online school as early as this week.
In areas with a high number of Covid-19 cases, known as red or orange communities, only classes in which at least 70% of children have received at least one dose of the vaccine are taught in schools. school. Classes with lower vaccination rates will be taught online. The new policy takes effect immediately for children 13 years of age and older; For young children, it takes effect after three weeks.
Israelis will also require a “Green Card” when out shopping. For example, it will now be mandatory to present a pass to enter or work in a store larger than 100 square meters.
Earlier, in the evening it was announced that establishments working in the public sector would halve the number of on-site staff. The measure will take effect on Sunday and will be in place for at least a month.
A few days ago, Prime Minister Bennett asked private businesses to encourage employees to work from home as much as possible.
Some context: Omicron’s latest data in Israel shows 341 confirmed cases, of which more than two-thirds are in people who have been fully vaccinated or recently recovered from the disease. In addition, there are more than 800 cases of high suspicion of the Omicron variant.
The total number of new Covid-19 infections in Israel reached 1,300 on Monday, a number not reached since mid-October.
The R-coefficient – the number of people infected per Covid-19 positive person – stands at 1.28, the highest number since the peak of the fourth wave in early August.