Israel Expands Vaccination Campaign – Everyone Over 16
Most recently, the willingness to vaccinate in Israel decreased significantly, as confirmed by the health insurance companies Meuhedet and Maccabi. While the daily vaccination counts were often over 200,000 in the past month, it was only over 100,000 in the last few days.
Since the vaccination campaign began in Israel on December 19, more than 3.2 million people in the country have received the first vaccination against the coronavirus. That’s a third of the population. Around 1.8 million Israelis have already been vaccinated twice. At the same time, the number of infections in the small Mediterranean country remains very high.
Israel to Extend COVID Vaccine Drive to Anyone Over 16 Starting Thursday
The expanded drive will make an additional 1.7 million people eligible for the vaccine, as the daily rate of inoculation falls by almost half
Israel is set to expand its coronavirus vaccination campaign to include Israelis of all age groups, the Health Ministry announced Wednesday, as daily vaccination figures drop and demand for the vaccine among priority groups decreases.
Until now, vaccine eligibility has been limited to people 35 and older, or those in specific priority groups, such as medical workers and educational staff. The Health Ministry told health care providers to prepare to expand the COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Thursday to include anyone over 16.
According to Health Ministry estimates, expanding eligibility to 18-35-year-olds would apply to some 1.7 million Israelis. 26 percent of people in their 20s – about 300,000 Israelis – already got vaccinated, either because they are in a priority group, or due to dose surplus in previous vaccination rounds.
Roughly 5.15 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Israel, when taking into account both first and second doses, according to the ministry’s data. More than 3.25 million people (35.7 percent of the population) have received the first dose of the vaccine, after about 70,000 people received the first dose of the vaccine on Tuesday. Of this figure, almost 1.9 million people (20.8 percent of the population) received the second dose of the vaccination – about 30,000 of them on Tuesday.
Speaking at a press briefing at the Health Ministry in Jerusalem on Tuesday night, Netanyahu emphasized that the government’s strategy is to vaccinate at least 90 percent of Israelis 50 and older within the next two weeks and “gradually” begin reopening Israel next week. “It’s attainable. 77 percent of them are already vaccinated,” he said.
Children may be able to get COVID-19 vaccine this spring, Fauci says
LIA EUSTACHEWICH for the New York Post
The COVID-19 vaccine may be rolled out to children starting as early as the spring, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert said that trials will begin sometime over the next couple of months to test the vaccines’ efficacy among the country’s youngest population.
“Hopefully, by the time we get to the late spring, early summer, we will have children able to be vaccinated according to the FDA’s guidance,” Fauci said during a White House COVID-19 briefing.
Fauci described the upcoming trials as “age de-escalation testing” that will allow researchers to analyze vaccine efficacy among a smaller batch of children — “hundreds to a couple of thousands,” he said.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pointed to recent school data to reiterate that children have decreased rates of transmissibility of COVID-19.
Currently, Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized for those ages 16 and up, while Moderna’s is approved for adults 18 and older. Both vaccines — the only ones approved for use in the US so far — require two doses weeks apart.
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