Public to Start Getting New COVID Variant-Tailored Shots by Month End
The delivery of the second generation of COVID-19 vaccines has been ordered by Israel, which have been updated to better fight against the new variants of the coronavirus.
These are expected to be available in the country’s clinics by the end of September.
On Wednesday, Prof. Salman Zarka, the coronavirus czar, announced that a consignment of the updated shots of the COVID-19 vaccine had arrived in Israel on Tuesday.
However, he did not specify the number of shots that had been obtained from Pfizer Inc. He did add that the new shots would be made available in clinics either within two weeks, or by the end of this month.
Moreover, the COVID czar did not mention if the new shots will be accessible to everyone at the same time, or whether they would give a head start to priority groups, such as those at risk, or the elderly.
Zarka stated that the vaccines had already arrived in the country and they would be delivered to healthcare providers in the coming days, after which they will begin to administer them.
He also asserted that the updated shots are highly recommended for medical professionals and those at risk and also added that the general public would also be able to have access to them.
The new shots have been especially customized for fighting the Omicron variant, but they are also interred to withstand subsequent variants.
They come at a time when the scientific community is waiting to determine their efficacy as compared to the original vaccines that had been introduced.
Prof. Cyrille Cohen, a leading immunologist said that the vaccines had received their first updates after two years, which is exciting.
However, he added that they still did not have any data about the effectiveness and efficacy of the new shots in real life.
Head of the immunology lab at the Bar Ilan University, Cohen said that infection levels should not be used for judging the efficacy of the new vaccines, but they should consider serious illness as a measure.
He said that there is very limited research available and most of it is dependent on mouse model studies as well as in-vitro observation.
He believes that there would be modest gains when it comes to reducing infection, but they could be handy in enhancing protection against severe illness and disease.
Therefore, he went on to say that the new vaccines would be the most important for the old and vulnerable population, the immunosuppressed, or those with co-morbidities.
As far as the logic behind using the new shots is concerned, he said that research had shown that additional protection could be offered by boosters, even if it was short lasting.
Moreover, he added that early studies had shown that the updated shots are just as effective when compared with the original shots.
This means that people have nothing to lose if they take the new shots and there could be some notable benefits over time.