Jerusalem (Associated Press)-The Prime Minister of Israel announced on Thursday that the country will provide coronavirus boosters for people over 60 who have been vaccinated.
The announcement of Naftali Bennett made Israel the first country to provide its citizens with a third dose of Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine on a large scale.
The decision was made at a time when the number of infections is increasing and there are concerns that the effectiveness of the vaccine will diminish over time.
This is a major news update. The earlier story of the Associated Press is as follows.
Jerusalem (Associated Press)-A leading Israeli healthcare provider said on Thursday that it will soon begin providing a third dose of the booster COVID-19 vaccine to patients over 60 who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
This will make Israel the first country to have a Western vaccine and provide its citizens with a third dose of vaccine. Previously, vaccines from China and Russia have been boosted in some countries.
Maccabi, one of Israel’s four publicly funded health maintenance organizations, said its members can already register and vaccination will begin on Sunday.
The news was announced shortly before Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (Naftali Bennett) held a national television press conference, and he is expected to announce a nationwide booster program.
Neither the United States nor the European Union formally recommend a coronavirus booster injection. It has not been proven whether the third dose is helpful, if so, who needs it and when. The first large-scale study of this strategy is being carried out in thousands of patients in Norway.
At the beginning of this year, Israel launched one of the most active and successful vaccination campaigns in the world. More than 57% of the country’s 9.3 million citizens have received two doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and more than 80% of the population over the age of 40 have been vaccinated.
The vaccination program allows Israel to reopen its economy ahead of other countries. However, there are signs that the effectiveness of the vaccine will diminish over time, and the number of new delta variants in Israel has surged, even in the vaccinated population.
Maccabi said people over 60 who were vaccinated more than 5 months ago will be eligible for the booster vaccine.