Israel’s Prime Minister has announced a program rolling out a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine to people over the age of 60, one of the first countries in the world to make such a move.
People will need to show they received their second dose of the vaccine at least five months ago.
The announcement follows a strong recommendation overnight from the government-appointed team of experts on the pandemic to offer older adults a third dose. The experts’ advice was based on data suggesting significant waning immunity from infection over time.
The number of new cases in Israel has topped 2,000 for each of the last three days, reaching levels not seen in the country for four and half months. Some days in May and June, the number of new daily cases was down to single figures.
The number of severe cases currently stands at 151. The infection co-efficient, or the average number of people infected by someone with the virus, has been fairly steady for weeks between 1.3 and 1.4.
Some background: Israel began vaccinating its population in December. Then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the first to receive a dose which he did on live television.
The vaccination program progressed apace and won plaudits for the fast rate at which Israel made the vaccine available to the entire adult population, and more recently children ages 12 and over.