Published on: 12/22/2021 – 05:41
Following a favorable opinion from an expert panel issued on Tuesday, Israel is expected to become the first country to offer a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to people over the age of 60 and medical personnel. On the same day, a first death due to the Omicron variant was announced.
Israel announced on Tuesday, December 21, that it will offer a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to people over the age of 60 and medical personnel, a decision made amid concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which caused an outbreak. epidemic around the world.
A panel of experts from the Department of Health recommended the administration of a fourth dose of vaccine for the elderly, a move quickly welcomed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. “This will help us overcome the Omicron wave that is spreading around the world,” he said, calling on Israelis to receive this additional vaccine booster as soon as possible.
However, formal authorization must be granted by the Haute Autorité de santé.
The panel’s recommendation comes after an Israeli hospital today confirmed the country’s first death related to the Omicron variant. Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba (south) announced that a 60-year-old man suffering from “various” serious “pathologies had succumbed to Omicron, possibly the first person to lose his life as a result of this variant in Israel.
First country in the world to administer the fourth dose
A spokesman for the prime minister said Israel was the first country in the world to administer the fourth dose.
“The citizens of Israel were the first in the world to receive the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and we continue to be at the forefront with the fourth dose,” he said in a press release issued by his services, calling those who comply with these criteria for “going to get vaccinated.”
Immunosuppressed people can also receive the fourth dose, which can be administered, both to people over 60 years of age and to medical teams, at least four months after the third injection, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
Bennett spoke after a cabinet meeting dedicated to Omicron.
The council restricted meals in shopping malls and decreed that children in communities with high morbidity rates and low immunizations must attend classes at home.
Mr. Bennett’s office added that the Prime Minister had directed the Health Department and Medicare funds, which handle the vaccines, to prepare for the fourth-dose injection campaign.
Travel ban to contain Omicron
Earlier today, Israel announced that it had added the United States, Canada and several other countries to its red list of some 50 states that are prohibited from traveling, in an attempt to contain Omicron.
These restrictions on travel abroad, which already affected France, the United Kingdom and most African countries, will enter into force on Wednesday and will remain in force, as for the rest of the “red” countries until at least December 29 . The other countries added to the red list on Tuesday are Belgium, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Morocco, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey.
These measures affect, in the case of the United States in particular, hundreds of thousands of Israelis with dual citizenship. Israeli citizens and residents of a recently red-listed country will be confined for a week upon return.
The Prime Minister had recently defended these restrictions, necessary according to him to avoid having to resort to new confinements in the face of this fifth epidemic wave, and called on the population to telework and vaccinate children.
As of Tuesday, 1,148 confirmed and “highly probable” cases of Omicron were reported in Israel, more than half of which were vaccinated people, according to the Health Ministry.
More than 4.1 of the 9.3 million people in Israel have received three doses of the coronavirus vaccine. Children between the ages of five and 11 are currently being vaccinated.
With Reuters and AFP
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