On Tuesday, the Health Ministry recommended that a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine be given to children between the ages of 5 and 11. This is because the daily number of infections in the country continues to rise, which has raised concerns that a sixth wave may be beginning.
Vaccinating Kids against COVID-19
Health management organizations were instructed by officials to start making preparations to ensure the booster dose is available for children belonging to this age group. It is also possible to give the third shot to children who recovered from the virus about three months ago.
It was in November last year that Israel had launched a vaccination campaign for children of this age group. The statistics released by the Health Ministry showed that 76.5% children who are between 5 and 11 have not been vaccinated as yet.
The figures also showed that there were 1,261 unvaccinated kids belonging to this age group who had gotten infected from the virus twice. In addition, there were also 295 kids who had received a single dose and had gotten infected.
No Testing on Airport Yet
Salman Zarka, Israel’s coronavirus czar, also stated that even though the number of cases in Israel are once again on the rise, they are unlikely to introduce COVID-19 testing at the airport for now. He said that there was no reason for checking people at border crossings for now and would only start testing at airports if a new variant is identified in the world.
Zarka also asserted that health officials do not currently plan on introducing any of the coronavirus restrictions that had been lifted. The airport testing requirement had been removed on May 21st this year.
Cases Continue to Rise
According to the official figures from the Health Ministry, the number of cases diagnosed on Monday were 7,330. This is the highest number recorded since April 6th. As for the transmission number, or R number as it is called, it stood at 1.51. The purpose of this number is to identify how many people are infected by one carrier and if it is above 1, it means the cases are rising.
The transmission number had remained below 1 for about two months, before it began to climb halfway through May. There are a total of 30,090 active patients of COVID-19 in Israel and the number of patients in serious condition is 103.
Vaccination has been the primary strategy that Israel has used for fighting the pandemic and it has worked so far. The Health Ministry recommended on Monday that people once again start wearing face masks in indoor spaces. The ministry said that new cases had seen a sharp increase and number of serious cases had also gone up.
Currently, there is no indication that the government will enforce the recommendation, but if infection figures continue to climb, it is possible that some restrictions may have to be implemented. The requirement for indoor masks had been scrapped in April, when infection numbers had seen a sharp decline.