12.07.2021, 09:05

Israel Third Shots Of Pfizer Covid 19 Vaccine Will Be Offered To Adults At Risk

On Sunday, Israel said it will offer a third dose of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to adults with weak immune system, since the rapid spread of Delta variant.


Israel said on Sunday it will begin offering a third dose of Pfizer Inc's (PFE.N) vaccine to adults with weak immune systems but it was still weighing whether to make the booster available to the general public.

The rapid spread of theDelta variant has sent vaccination rates in Israel back up as new infections have risen over the past month from single digits to around 450 a day, and the country has moved to fast-track its next Pfizer shipment.



An elderly woman receives a booster shot of her vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at an assisted living facility, in Netanya, Israel January 19, 2021. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/File Photo

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said that effective immediately, adults with impaired immune systems who had received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine could get a booster shot, with a decision pending on wider distribution.

Pfizer and partner BioNTech SE , the main suppliers in a swift Israeli vaccination rollout that began in December, said on Thursday they will ask U.S. and European regulators within weeks to authorize booster shots, according to Reuters.

The two companies cited an increased risk of infection after six months in seeking permission for a third shot.

Drawing criticism from some scientists and officials, the companies did not share the data showing that risk, but said it would soon be made public. They also cited recent Israeli data. read more

"We are examining this issue and we still do not have a final answer," Horowitz, speaking on Kan public radio, said about a booster for the general population in Israel.



A woman receives a vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a temporary Clalit healthcare maintenance organisation (HMO) centre, at a basketball court in Petah Tikva, Israel January 28, 2021. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

"In any case we are administering as of now a third shot to people suffering from immunodeficiency."

"We are examining this issue and we still do not have a final answer," Horowitz, speaking on Kan public radio, said about a booster for the general population in Israel.

"In any case we are administering as of now a third shot to people suffering from immunodeficiency."

About half of the 46 patients presently hospitalised in Israel in severe condition are vaccinated, and the majority are from risk groups, according to the health authorities. About 5.7 million out of Israel 9.3 population has received at leas one dose.

Scrambling to find buyer for 800,000 doses set to expire at the end of July

Israel has some 1.4 million shots that will expire at the end of July, but hopes to use 600,000 of them to vaccinate 300,000 teens ages 12 to 15 by then, without attributing the information to a source.

The doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccines, set to expire at the end of July, are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the Kan public broadcaster.


Israel Third Shots Of Pfizer Covid 19 Vaccine Will Be Offered To Adults At Risk

Empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine lie in a box during a vaccine campaign at the Vaccine Village in Ebersberg near Munich, Germany, May 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Israel has some 1.4 million shots that will expire at the end of July, but hopes to use 600,000 of them to vaccinate 300,000 teens ages 12 to 15 by then, Kan reported, without attributing the information to a source.

The Haaretz daily reported that three countries had been in touch with Israel about purchasing soon-to-expire vaccines.

Israel purchased millions of vaccines from Pfizer and was among the first countries to receive them, for an undisclosed amount. Despite having millions of unused doses, it inked a deal in April under former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for 18 million more doses, in case they are needed for booster shots.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in broadcast remarks to his cabinet on Sunday that he has agreed with Pfizer to bring forward the next delivery of doses to Aug 1. The shipment had been widely expected to arrive in September.

There was no immediate response from Pfizer to a request for comment.

COVID in Israel: Slight Decline in New Cases Over Weekend

Israel recorded a slight downward trend in the number of new daily confirmed coronavirus cases over the weekend, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.

According to the newly released data, 50,325 coronavirus tests were conducted over the weekend, with the positivity rate standing at 0.6 percent, compared to last week's 0.7 percent. In total, 261 new cases were confirmed on Sunday.

Israel currently has 4,130 active cases, 44 of whom are in serious condition, with 12 of those on ventilators. So far, 6,436 Israelis have died from the virus, according to Haaretz Daily.

The ministry added that if the pandemic worsens in these countries, they may be added to the list of countries with the highest travel warning, to which Israelis cannot fly at all as of July 12. These countries include Russia, Brazil, and India.

In Israel, more than 1,000 children have been vaccinated following individual approval by the ministry due to various health conditions. No side effects or other responses were observed that were different from any other group in the population.


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Charlotte Pho