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Israel to offer Covid booster shots to people under 60

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By NS Desk 13-Aug-2021

Tel Aviv, Aug 13 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has instructed health maintenance organisations (HMOs) to prepare to offer a third coronavirus vaccine booster for some age groups under 60 next week, according to a statement from his office.

Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz were briefed on Thurday by CEOs of Israel's four HMOs on their vaccination efforts, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Prime Minister told the HMOs' directors that they need to "prepare to expand the range of ages for the third inoculation next week".

He reiterated the government's effort to halt the resurging coronavirus outbreak without imposing more economically and socially destructive lockdowns.

"Our goal has been and remains fighting the Delta strain without destructive harm to the economy to the extent possible," he said, adding that "in order to meet this task, the vaccination effort is the supreme tool".

Nachman Ash, Director-General of the Health Ministry, told Ynet news site that the Ministry is looking into lowering the age for the booster shot to people over 40.

On August 1, Israel launched a campaign to administrate a third booster dose of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine to people aged over 60.

The shot is being offered to 60-year-old people who have received the second shot at least five months ago.

The roll out began although health regulatory authorities in the US and the European Union have not yet approved the third booster dose.

About 58 per cent of the country's 9 million population has been doubled-vaccinated, most of it with the Pfizer vaccine.

--IANS

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