Health Ministry Set to Recommend Third Vaccine Shot After Experts’ Approval

Israelis receives COVID-19 vaccine injections in a mobile MDA station in Yerushalayim. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Israel is expected to officially recommend to elderly Israelis to receive a third coronavirus vaccine shot after a panel of health experts tasked with tackling the pandemic approved the move during a meeting late Wednesday.

The country has already begun administering a third vaccine to people with a compromised immune system and the elderly population now looks to join them. The only issue still up for debate is whether to recommend the booster shot to those over 60 or only to those over 70.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is scheduled to meet with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and the expert panel later on Thursday, where he is expected to announce his support for the move.

Bennett and Howoritz already said they will hold a press conference in the afternoon hours.

If the recommendation is backed by the prime minister, the Health Ministry is expected to begin administering the third jab as soon as next week.

During the meeting, the experts also discussed whether to recommend the booster shot to people with underlying illnesses in addition to those with a compromised immune system.

The experts, however, were split on the matter with Health Ministry Director General Prof. Nachman Ash set to make the final decision on the issue.

“The recommendation was forwarded to the Director General Prof. Nachman Ash, who is expected to make a decision in the coming days about the vaccine and the target population,” said the expert panel in a statement following the meeting that ended just before midnight.

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