Israel Will Offer Fourth Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine to Medical Workers, People 60 and Over

The country will offer a fourth shot to medical workers, people 60 and over and those with suppressed immune systems

Israel covid vaccine
Photo: JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty

Israel is stepping up efforts to offer extra protection from COVID-19 as it prepares to give a fourth vaccine shot to anyone 60 and older, medical workers and people with suppressed immune systems, according to the Washington Post.

Those eligible for the fourth dose can only get it if at least four months have passed since they received the third dose.

The move announced by Israel's Health Ministry comes as fears about the threat of the omicron variant continue growing around the globe.

Israel's Health Ministry announced the new safety measure Tuesday while reporting 341 confirmed cases of the omicron variant, with hundreds more suspected cases, the Washington Post added.

In a tweet, Israeli Prime Minister said the world would follow in the country's footsteps and take the same approach to stop the spread of the virus.

"We have just finished an important meeting in the Corona Cabinet. The decisions are publicized, but I want to point out one important thing that happened tonight: I gave an order to immediately prepare for a fourth vaccine. Also in this wave, as we did with the booster in the Delta, we intend to be active and groundbreaking, and do everything to win. The world will follow us," he tweeted.

This recommendation for a fourth dose comes from an expert panel in preparation for the latest coronavirus wave.

"We don't really have data yet on the level of immunity, like we did when we decided on the third dose, but on the other hand, there is really scary data out there in the rest of the world," said panel member Professor Galia Rahav per CNN.

"In a situation like this, if you don't act immediately, you miss the train," she added.

Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in the United States and around the world as the delta and omicron variants continue to spread at rapid rates. In the two weeks since omicron was first identified in the U.S., it has already become the dominant variant, accounting for 73% of new infections between Dec. 12 and 18, the Centers for Disease Control said Monday. One week earlier, it represented just 12% of cases.

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