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Middle East World

Israel to offer third shot of Pfizer jab to people over 60

file photo: fight against the delta variant in tel aviv
A health worker prepares a vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a mobile vaccination centre, as Israel continues to fight against the spread of the Delta variant

Israel will begin offering a third shot of the Pfizer/Biontech COVID-19 vaccine to people over 60, Israel’s Kan public radio and Channel 13 TV said on Thursday.

The campaign, a bid to fend off the coronavirus Delta variant, will effectively turn Israel into a testing ground for the booster before approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Pfizer said on Wednesday it believes people need a third dose to keep protection against the coronavirus high. The company says it could apply for U.S. emergency authorization for booster shots as early as August.

Kan and Channel 13 said the director-general of Israel’s health ministry informed the heads of health maintenance organisations that have been administering the two-dose Pfizer vaccine that they could provide, as of Sunday, booster shots for people over the age of 60.

The ministry said earlier that it would make an official announcement about a booster campaign later in the day.

Since the Delta variant began spreading in Israel in June, the health ministry has twice reported a drop in the vaccine’s effectiveness against infection and a slight decrease in its protection against severe disease.

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