Israel Offers Booster Shot to All Eligible for Vaccines

A 14-years-old boy receives his COVID-19 vaccine at a temporary Clalit health care center in Yerushalayim, August 15, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel is offering vaccine booster shots for everyone 12 and up who already received their second of two vaccine doses at least five months earlier, the Times of Israel reported.

The new policy is effective immediately.

“From today the third dose is available to everyone,” Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash said.

Israel, the first country to offer a third shot, offered the booster to all 60 and above starting on August 1. Last week, it dropped the age requirement to 30 and above. Effective Sunday, the booster is open to everyone eligible to be vaccinated. Currently, 1.9 million people have received their third dose, roughly 21% of the population.

“This is a privilege that no other country has,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Additionally, the Health Ministry announced that, effective September 3, Israelis who have received the booster, effective a week after they got the shot, will no longer be required to quarantine for a week after returning to Israel from a country that is considered low or moderate risk.

The exemption also applies to whoever had their second dose within the last five months. Instead, they will be required to self-isolate for 24 hours after arrival, or until they receive a negative test result.

Another new policy is that the Green Past system will expire for an individual six months after they received their second or third dose, effective October 1.

“Even under immense pressure, we maintained a balanced and responsible line that recognizes the value of life, but also takes into account that restrictions and closures exact a price,” Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said at a press conference Sunday. “We must continue vaccinating at a fast pace. It is critical for success.”