Israel approves Pfizer booster shot for over 60s

Jerusalem, Jul 29 (EFE).- Israel will offer a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to people over the age of 60, the Isreali government announced Thursday.

“Starting this Sunday, hospitals and health centers will allow the elderly population to receive a third dose,” prime minister Naftali Benet said in a televised statement.

Benet said the decision was taken in efforts to slow the spread of the Delta variant in the country.

President Isaac Herzog will be the first to receive the booster, Benet announced, which will be given to people who received the second dose of the vaccine at least five months ago.

The move comes after an extensive debate involving Israeli experts and politicians and was approved after the pharmaceutical Pfizer announced on Wednesday that a third dose of the vaccine could “strongly boost” protection against the Delta variant.

Just over two weeks ago, the Israeli Ministry of Health had already authorized the administration of a third dose to immunosuppressed adults.

Since, some 2,000 people have received the booster, according to Benet.

Israel was a world leader in vaccination rates and relaxation of restrictions, but after a slow but sudden increase in infections, reintroduced some restrictions at the end of June.

Since the beginning of this week, the number of new cases per day has risen to over 2,000.

Authorities have also tightened restrictions for those returning from abroad, extending the list of countries to which travel is prohibited and postponing the entry of tourists, which has been banned since the beginning of the pandemic and was scheduled to reopen this month.EFE

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