High Demand Reported for 3rd COVID-19 Vaccine Dose

Medical staff at the coronavirus ward of the Kaplan Medical Center, in Rehovot, Israel. Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

With Israel approving a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine for Israelis aged 60 and over last Thursday, health-care providers reported high demand for the booster shot, with some 8%, or around 25,000 people, of those eligible having booked appointments thus far.

On Sunday, Health Ministry Director General Professor Nachman Ash said that the government was not looking into expanding the eligibility of other age groups for a third dose at this time. “There are other populations who were vaccinated earlier on, for example, in the medical profession, some of whom are under age 60. In another two weeks, we will reexamine [the issue].

Prof. Ash on Motzoei Shabbos announced “the campaign to vaccinate those aged 60 and over with a third dose has kicked off. This is an important step we in the State of Israel are taking, which is aimed at protecting the elderly population from infection with the coronavirus and serious illness. I call on those who belong to this age group to go and get vaccinated.”

He noted that “according to a number of reports, there are citizens who are choosing to take a serological test to discover the level of antibodies in their bodies, and based on the results, decide whether to get vaccinated. I want to emphasize – there’s no need for that. Such a test could create confusion. There is no medical justification for conditioning the decision of whether to get vaccinated on the result of a serological test.

Ash said that regardless of whether it was the first, second, or third dose, he called on the public to “go and get vaccinated. The vaccine has been proven to be the most efficient tool in our war on the pandemic and to bring down morbidity data. Through a higher vaccination rate in the public, we can maintain our routine lives, open up the school year and celebrate the holidays together.”

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