Health Ministry Experts Advise Booster Shots for Teens2 min read
According to reports, a panel of experts that’s advising the Israeli Health Ministry regarding its COVID-19 policy made a recommendation on Sunday. They advised that children between the ages of 12 and 15 should be given the third booster shot against the coronavirus. As per the reports, a clear majority of the members of the panel were in favor of giving the shot to the teenagers. The booster will be administered five months after the second shot has been given. The opinion of the experts was based on data about the reduction in the effectiveness of the vaccine amongst teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 who had only been given the first two doses.
Booster shots are already approved in Israel for all those aged 16 and above, which had a trailblazing policy as it was the first country to have approved it for different age groups. However, a decision has not been taken as yet about whether children between the ages of 12 and 15 should also be given the third booster shot in order to keep their Green Pass. This is a vaccination certificate that gives people access to public venues and events. As of now, a Green Pass can only be obtained by Israelis 16 and above, if they have received all three shots of the vaccine.
Furthermore, it was also recommended by experts that a three week gap be maintained between the first and the second dose of the vaccine that has to be administered to children between the ages of 5 and 11. This is the same policy being followed in the US on the recommendations of the Food and Drug Administration. The Health Ministry still needs to give its approval for the aforementioned measures. Ministers had decided on Sunday evening that no additional restrictions would be imposed on the upcoming Hanukkah festival, but all Green Pass regulations have to be followed.
Mask wearing would also be facilitated during the performances through discouraging consumption of drinks and food. In addition, some of the performances will also have mobile vaccination units. This was announced by the Prime Minister’s Office and is part of the vaccination campaign being rolled out for kids. These developments occurred as Israel was preparing to begin the inoculation campaign for children belonging to the 5 and 11 age group. The HMO’s in the country have already begun to book appointments, as a million doses of the child-sized Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine arrived in Israel over the weekend.
More than 10,000 parents have already booked slots with the four health providers in Israel in just two hours. The target age group comprises of around 1,000,000 children. According to the Meuhedet HMO, they would be setting up a mobile vaccination unit on Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv to allow parents to bring their kids for vaccination as early as Monday and not require an appointment. According to statistics, almost half of the cases that were diagnosed in Israel in the past week were in children under the age of 12.