Covid: Israel begins administering fourth dose of vaccine to vulnerable people

Faced with the resurgence of contamination with the Omicron variant, Israel has launched a campaign to administer a fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

Israel launched a campaign on Friday to administer a fourth dose of the Covid vaccine to vulnerable people in hopes of mitigating the effects of a new wave of contamination due to the spread of the Omicron variant.

Almost a year after launching an extensive vaccination campaign in favor of an agreement with the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and almost six months after starting to administer booster doses, the health authorities had given the green light this Thursday to the administration of this 4th dose. vaccine for immunosuppressed people.

Starting Friday morning, the doses were administered at Sheba Hospital, located in Ramat Gan, a suburb of Tel Aviv, to patients who had undergone heart transplants, for example.

This hospital began a clinical trial on Monday by administering a fourth dose of the anti-coronavirus vaccine to its caregivers.

“We had obtained good results with the 3rd dose which, in addition, did not cause side effects except for mild localized pain (…) We are impatient to see the response to this fourth dose,” Dr. Galia Rahav said on the spot.

“This dose will increase protection against coronavirus,” added cardiologist Yael Peled.

An Increase in Pollution “Endangers the Health” of Nursing Home Residents

Health Ministry Director Nachman Ash also authorized the administration of a fourth dose for residents of nursing homes and patients in geriatric departments on Friday, according to a ministry statement.

“This decision was made due to fears of an increase in the number of contamination in these institutions that endangers the health of these people,” argued the ministry.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said last week that all Israelis over the age of 60 and medical personnel would be entitled to a fourth dose, but this decision has not yet been approved by the Health Ministry.

The administration of a fourth dose will evaluate the possible increase in antibodies and the appearance of side effects, and will say whether or not it reduces the risk of infection, said Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the department of infectious diseases at Sheba Hospital.

Israel also received its first shipment of coronavirus pills from Pfizer on Thursday, as the number of infections continues to rise.

Authorities identified more than 4,000 new cases of Covid on Thursday, a record since September that has yet to translate into a marked increase in hospitalizations.

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