Israel has stopped deploying its fourth COVID shot and opted for hospital trials to confirm efficacy and safety

Jerusalem — The Israeli Ministry of Health has discontinued the nationwide rollout of a fourth vaccination for people over the age of 60 or at risk of severe illness, set to begin on Sunday, with sufficient scientific information in its place. We have selected a hospital exam to address the debate about whether or not it is available to justify another booster drive.

A major Israeli hospital will give 6,000 people, including 150 hospital staff, a fourth COVID-19 vaccination on Monday in a study aimed at measuring whether a second booster immunization is needed nationwide. I plan to start.

The Sheva Medical Center near Tel Aviv said the study sheds light on the efficacy and safety of the fourth dose and helps decision makers set health policies in Israel and abroad.

“This study tests antibody levels, the effect of a fourth vaccine dose on infection prevention, and confirms its safety,” said Gili Regev-Yochay, head of research at Sheva.

“This study is expected to shed light on the additional benefits of a fourth dose and lead to an understanding of whether and to whom a fourth dose is worth it. “She added.

The advisory board approved a second booster dose on 21 December, but the vaccination campaign was postponed and patients may require hospitalization, citing preliminary data on the Omicron variant. It suggests that it is ~ 70% lower. Delta stock.

The panel recommended that Israelis over the age of 60 who received a booster shot at least four months ago be offered a fourth dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.

Final approval of the second booster immunization from the ministry’s minister is still pending in a public debate.

Israel has reported 1,118 confirmed cases of the rapidly spreading Omicron coronavirus variant, and the number of people infected with it has doubled every two days.

Sheba Medical Center does not say how long the trial will last.

By August 20, 150 Sheva health workers who participated in the trial, which the hospital said had been approved by the Ministry of Health, received booster shots.

Separately, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office said a COVID-19 test was negative on Sunday after the 14-year-old daughter was infected. It said he would quarantine himself.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Web staff