Health Official Calls for Vaccinating Children ‘Everywhere’

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prof. Hezi Levy, head of Barzilai Hospital and former director general of the Israeli Ministry of Health. (FLASH90)

A senior health official on Monday called for an immediate campaign to vaccinate children across the country, as the Omicron variant threatens to spread.

“We need to vaccinate children everywhere, including in the school yard. We do the same with other vaccines. It is a pity that this is the state of affairs when we all talk about the importance of the vaccine and the need to reach as many children as possible,” Prof. Hezi Levi, director of Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center and former Health Ministry director-general, told Ynet.

Although booster shots are still considered effective in warding off infection, Levy said that “you cannot come out and say, ‘We are not worried.’ Yes, we’re troubled that morbidity is rising and will rise. Yes, we are worried.”

Like other officials, he downplayed prospects of a lockdown.

“I don’t think we should talk about a lockdown,” Levi said. “We need to talk about measured steps, based on the facts that are examined on a daily basis.

“First of all, we need to ensure Omicron does not enter the country. Second, restrictions such as masks and quarantines need to be enforced properly and perhaps even limits on gatherings. Thirdly, and most importantly, is vaccines.”

In the same vein earlier on Monday, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said that a lockdown is “not on the table,” and that the government will avoid it “at all costs.”