On Thursday, the advisory panel of the Health Ministry on infectious diseases unanimously voted for recommending the approval of the COVID vaccine for kids in the age range of six months and five years. The decision needs the final approval of Nachman Ash, the Director-General of the Health Ministry, before the vaccine is actually rolled out to the age group.
Breakdown of recommendations
But, the Health Ministry said that there was a difference in opinion on whether the vaccine should simply be allowed in children or recommended and whether it should be administered to those who have recovered from the disease before.
Since the ministry wanted to ensure that the sensitive topic had full transparency, it gave a complete breakdown of the recommendations that panel members had made. The Health Ministry disclosed that 58% of the members of the panel recommended vaccines for children at high-risk and to allow them for those who do not have risk factors.
Meanwhile, 13% of the panel members voted for administering the shot to all children and 13% said that the vaccine should be allowed for everyone above the age of six months. There were also 16% of the members who said that the vaccine should be restricted to children who are at high risk.
There were 87% of the panel members who said that the recommendations did not need to be different for children who had already tested positive for COVID. But, there were also 13% of them who said that vaccination was not necessary for children who had already been infected.
Use of vaccine to be low
It is expected that interest in COVID-19 vaccine for toddlers and babies will be low in the country. The statistics on Thursday showed that not even 18% of children between the ages of 5 and 11 had received both shots of the vaccine, while only 25% had gotten one shot. However, the age group between 12 and 15 had a different story, as 55% of the children had gotten two doses and a third dose had been given to 15%.
The approval for the COVID-19 vaccine for children between 5 and 11 had been approved last year in November. The recommendation of a booster shot for these kids had been made in this month, but only 0.1% of the kids have received the shot.
COVID cases rising
It should be noted that COVID-19 cases are once more rising in Israel in what is said to be the sixth wave of the virus. On Wednesday, around 11,000 new infections were diagnosed, which is about 30% of the people who got tested. The officials of the Health Ministry have recommended that face masks be worn in indoor spaces once more.
However, it should be noted that authorities have not imposed any restrictions that were applicable in the COVID era. The number of serious patients in Israel stands at 296, which is an increase from 219 a week earlier and the figure had been 136 two weeks earlier.