Women will be vaccinated against COVID-19 on February 3, 2021 at the Temporary Clarit Health Maintenance Center in Herzliya, Israel. (AmirCohen / Reuters)
Israel expanded its COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to those over the age of 30 on Tuesday, expanding its booster campaign amid a surge in delta variants.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Health, the decision to reduce the age of third vaccination for the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine from 40 to 30 followed the recommendations of advisory experts and the Epidemiology Task Force and the Vaccine Commission. Boosters are given to those who received a second dose at least 5 months ago.
Evidence has emerged that vaccine protection diminishes over time. However, there is no consensus among scientists and institutions that a third dose is required.
Citing data showing reduced protection, the United States has announced plans to provide booster immunization to all Americans eight months after the second vaccination. Canada, France and Germany are also planning booster campaigns.
So far, of Israel’s 9.3 million population, about 1 million have chosen not to be vaccinated, and children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination.
Since the surge in Delta, Israel has imposed restrictions on indoor masks, meetings and has strengthened rapid testing.
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report