The Israeli government announced it will offer a third shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to citizens over 60 years old, amid ongoing efforts to slow the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of the CCP virus.
Naftali Bennett, the Israeli prime minister, announced in a statement on Friday that President Isaac Herzog and his wife Michal were among the first to receive the booster in the country.
Israel had launched a national vaccination campaign in December 2020 and many seniors, regarded as among the more vulnerable in the population received their shots in the starting months of the rollout.
The country has seen more than 57 percent of its 9.3 million people fully vaccinated, with 63 percent having had at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, which uses “mRNA technology”.
But since the Delta variant began to spread, the Israeli health ministry reported a drop in the vaccine’s efficacy against infection twice—in early and late July—as well as a slight decrease in its protection against severe disease.
The Israeli ministry of health announced on Friday it recorded 2,140 new CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus cases in the past day, up from a handful of cases per day a few months ago. The ministry reported 167 people are suffering from severe disease.