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COVID-19: Israel administers 4th dose of vaccine to people aged 60 and over | Coronavirus

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On Sunday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced that all Israelis over 60 and medical staff will be able to receive a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine if they received their third dose more ago four months.

A pioneer in anti-COVID vaccination thanks to an agreement with the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, the Hebrew state launched a campaign last summer for the administration of a third dose of vaccine. The government is banking on this fourth dose to try to mitigate the effects of the new wave of contamination in those most at risk.

Naftali Bennett at a press conference.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett

Photo: Getty Images / EMIL SALMAN

The Omicron wave is here and we must protect ourselvessaid Bennett, whose government on Thursday gave the green light to the 4th dose for immunocompromised people, following the booster campaign last summer.

As of Monday morning, people aged 60 and over began to receive these doses at the Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv, an AFP journalist noted on the spot.

Israel also received Thursday a first delivery of anticoronavirus pills from Pfizer as the number of contaminations continues to increase since the appearance at the end of November of the first case in the country of the Omicron variant.

In the past 24 hours, the country has recorded 6,562 cases of COVID, an increase of more than 50% in one day, according to the report of the Ministry of Health, which, however, reports a low number of serious cases ( 110) in this country where more than half of the adult population has received a 3rd dose of an anti-COVID vaccine.

The evolution of COVID-19 from hour to hour.

Reopening of borders to vaccinated tourists

The Israeli government also announced Monday the reopening, next week, of its borders to vaccinated foreign tourists, closed a month ago after the discovery of a first case of the Omicron variant in a traveler returning from southern Africa.

As of January 9, vaccinated foreigners from orange country will be able to return to Israel by performing a PCR or antigen test before boarding the plane and a PCR test upon arrival on Israeli soil, where they will have to be in isolation for 24 hours, awaiting their results , the government said in a statement.

Passengers walk, pushing their luggage at an airport.

Passengers arriving at Ben-Gurion airport (archives).

Photo: Getty Images / JACK GUEZ

Most countries are currently on this list orange, presenting an average risk related to the coronavirus, the list Red, at high risk, comprising 17 countries, including France, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the United States.

On Monday, the Classifications Committee however recommended removing seven countries from this red list, including France, Canada and South Africa.

The Hebrew state had closed its borders to foreign nationals, with certain exceptions, on November 28, a few days after the discovery of this highly contagious variant in a passenger returning from Malawi, in the hope of minimizing the spread of Omicron within Population.

But just like in Europe and North America, Israel is seeing a significant jump in contamination these days, rendering the border closures obsolete, local public health experts suggested last week, with the Omicron variant now circulating. ample in the country.

You close the borders in order to delay the entry of a variant or the number of cases linked to a variant, but when this variant is present and propagates, it is no longer useful to close the borders, it is no longer more logicalRonni Gamzu, former director of the Israeli government’s anti-COVID strategy, told a group of reporters on Monday.

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