Health Ministry Says 4 Million Israelis Have Gotten Booster Shot
On Tuesday, the Health Ministry disclosed that more than 4 million people in Israel have been administered the third dose of the vaccine, which is a prominent milestone in the country’s efforts to get the most of the eligible population vaccinated. According to the data provided by the Israeli Health Ministry, from the total 9.5 million people in Israel, the booster shot has been given to approximately 4,001,031 individuals and as of Tuesday night, two doses have been administered to around 5.7 million people. In August, Israel had become the first country to start giving booster shots to with the health ministry scrambling to control the outbreak of the contagious Delta variant, after discovering that the effects of the two-dose vaccine begin wearing off in five months.
Last month, a large-scale study was published in Israel showing that the effectiveness of the booster shot was 92% in preventing serious illness, as opposed to people who had received only two shots of the vaccine. According to health officials, the booster shot can increase protection and do it with minimal side effects. Meanwhile, it was also reported that health officials were considering kids under the age of 12 eligible for getting a Green Pass that would be valid for a year before requiring vaccination, as long as they have recovered from COVID-19. Currently, the eligibility of those over the age of 12 is around six months.
According to reports, this change in policy was because of lack of data regarding the high immunity levels of children who have recovered from COVID. With the Green Pass, people are able to access public events and venues and it is issued to those who have either been inoculated against COVID, have tested negative for it, or have made a recovery from it. Nitzan Horowitz, the Health Minister, and Naftali Bennett, the Prime Minister, also announced on Tuesday that some of the Green Pass restrictions were being lifted and the capacity limits imposed on outdoor gatherings were also being scrapped.
They are going to abolish the requirement of wearing masks in an outdoor gathering of more than 100 people. Face coverings are not needed in smaller gatherings. However, it is still mandatory for people to wear masks indoors. Israel had been the first country to administer the booster shot to everyone over the age of 12 and this campaign has played an important role in ending the fourth wave of the coronavirus in the country. Nonetheless, it is important to note that there are 650,000 people in the country who have not received a single dose of the vaccine, even though they are eligible for it.
As far as other countries are concerned, some have also adopted Israel’s approach when it comes to the booster shot, while there are those that have only approved it for people aged 65 and above or those who are suffering from preexisting health conditions. The active cases of COVID-19 in Israel have fallen to 6,323 after passing the 90,000 mark back in July and staying higher than 10,000 for more than three months.