Health Minister: ‘Don’t Panic’

YERUSHALAYIM -
A photo illustration showing ampoules of Covid-19 vaccine at a Clallit vaccine center in Yerushalayim. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

As scientists frantically gather information about the fast-spreading new Omicron variant, Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz offered a reassuring comment on Tuesday.

Horowitz said that early data indicate that those who have received three doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine are well protected against Omicron, which medical experts fear may be more dangerous than previous strains of the coronavirus.

Reiterating his “don’t panic” message during a visit to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva, Horowitz told reporters:

“The situation is under control, there is no need for panic. We expected a new variant, and we’re ready… in the next few days we will have more precise information about the vaccine’s effectiveness, but early indications show that those who have a booster are most likely protected against this variant.”

Meanwhile, Israel has closed its borders to foreign travelers and on Tuesday the government approved the use of Shin Bet tracking technology to locate carriers of the variant.