Israel’s booster jab campaign picks up speed

Jerusalem, Aug 11 (EFE).- Israel’s campaign to give people over 60 a third shot of the coronavirus vaccine was in full swing Wednesday, with more than 50,000 people receiving a booster jab in the last 24 hours.

“Pioneers” was how prime minister Naftali Bennett described those who had received a third booster shot during the inauguration ceremony of the campaign that got underway on 30 July.

More than 650,000 people over 60 have since been given a third dose.

Although Israel is not the only country to take a similar step, it is the first to administer booster jabs of the Pfizer vaccine. Many countries in Europe and North America will be keeping a close eye on Israel’s progress.

Earlier this week, the Israeli health ministry data showed that only 50 out of 600,000 people who had received a booster suffered minor side effects.

“We already have information that the third dose is very safe, now we have to follow the question of efficacy,” Nadav Davidovitch, an adviser to the Israeli government’s coronavirus task force, told Efe.

“It is too early because, like any other vaccine, it takes time for the body to build up its immunity, so we will probably wait another week and then decide whether the third dose should be given to those over 40,” Davidovitch a Ben-Gurion University professor, added.

“We are a model country because we started earlier and we are proud that other countries can see how the third dose works here. It is a responsibility and something we must share with the world,” Davidovitch said.

Israel has pushed ahead with its third shot campaign despite the World Health Organization’s calls for a moratorium on administering booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in favor of distributing them to vulnerable populations and developing countries.

Davidovitch admitted feeling “uncomfortable” by the fact that his country is offering a booster while others lack vaccines.

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