On Sunday morning, Prime Minister of Israel, Naftali Bennett said that the country was facing a possible outbreak of the coronavirus in the younger population. Therefore, he urged the parents to vaccinate their kids once the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available for kids between the ages of 5 and 11. At the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, the premier said that it appears that Israel is on the verge of a wave of infections amongst children. He stated that the vaccine for kids had arrived in the country and they would begin the inoculation campaign from Tuesday. He went on to call the vaccines as the most effective and safest way of keeping the kids safe.
Bennett added that his son David would be one of the first kids to get inoculated and he was expecting Israeli parents, along with cabinet ministers with kids or grandkids in the mentioned age group to do the same as well. On Saturday, the first shipment of the children’s vaccine doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had arrived in the country. Currently, Israel is seeing signs that the coronavirus may once more be rising in the country, as the basic reproduction number has now moved past 1 to reach 1.02.
The figure is known as the ‘R-number’ and it represents the number of people every confirmed coronavirus patient infects. If this number is higher than 1, it indicates that the virus is expanding. On Sunday morning, the data from the Health Ministry disclosed that 230 people had tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday out of a total of 31,358 tests conducted, which shows a positivity rate of 0.81%. The total number of patients hospitalized because of the virus stood at 173 and 131 of these patients were in serious condition. According to the data, 83.3% of the serious cases are people who haven’t been vaccinated.
Speaking to ministers, Bennett said that keeping the current situation in mind, there was little chance of easing the restrictions further. A shipment arrived at the Ben Gurion Airport on Saturday that comprised of one million doses of kid-sized vaccines that were dispatched from Leipzig in Germany. It was taken to the city of Modiin in Israel, which is the central distribution point in Israel. The doses will be dispatched from there to the various vaccination centers in the country and would be administered from Tuesday onwards. Similar to adults and older children, the kid-sized vaccine also has two doses.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids is one-third size of the doses for adults. They have gotten a different packing in order to avoid any mix-ups. Bennett also promised Israelis on Friday that they would maintain ‘total transparency’ where the vaccine is concerned. He added that he was aware of the matter’s sensitivity. Sharon Alroy-Preis, the head of public health, said on Sunday morning that almost half of the parents would not want their children to get vaccinated. She said that half of the population was undecided and needed more data. She added that younger children could still be affected by the virus, even if it is more dangerous to adults.