Israel to Hold Off on Fourth Covid Shot

Director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Health, Prof. Nachman Ash. (FLASH90)

The Israeli Health Ministry shifted gears in its plans to offer a fourth covid shot, delaying the rollout that had been scheduled to start on Sunday, in light of data indicating that the Omicron variant is less dangerous than the Delta strain which preceded it, according to Channel 13.

Israel was set to be the first country in the world to give a fourth dose of the vaccine, to over 60s and others at risk; but now health officials are reconsidering.

The report notes that Nachman Ash, the ministry’s director-general, has yet to approve the campaign and that if more data showing relatively mild effects from the Omicron comes in, he may ask for further review before taking any action on it.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wants to start administering the additional booster shots as soon as possible, but will defer to Ash’s judgment, Kan news reported.

Bennett had welcomed the recommendation of the government’s expert advisory panel to go ahead with the fourth shot and ordered officials to prepare for Sunday.