Israel Advises All Adults To Take 4th Covid Vaccine, “To Prevent Severe Illnesses”
All adults in Israel should have a fourth Covid vaccine, according to Israeli health officials.
In comparison to three doses, fourth doses doubled protection against symptomatic Covid-19 and increased protection against severe illness by three to five times, according to research.
Other nations, including as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Chile, have approved fourth doses for immunocompromised persons like HIV patients and transplant recipients, but have resisted initiating a large-scale second booster program
The Israel health ministry acknowledged in a statement that Israel’s vaccine advisory council “recommends that people aged 18 and older be able to be immunized with a fourth vaccination dosage.”
Nachman Ash, the director-general of the health ministry, must approve the rollout. People would be eligible five months after receiving their third dose or recovering from the disease, according to the ministry. Approximately 900,000 Israelis have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last two weeks.
In late December, Israel became the first country to extend fourth doses to people over 60, healthcare workers, and those with weakened immune systems. A second booster shot was given to around 600,000 Israelis, and a third dose was given to about half of the population.
The advice, according to a top Israeli government scientist, is based on allowing “individual decision-making” rather than “forcing” fourth dosages on younger populations. “We’re making people the gatekeepers of decision-making,” he explained.
He went on to say that it was a “unusual” suggestion aimed at combining the “accumulating evidence” of the vaccine’s protection against severe disease with “the various open-ended uncertainties” concerning safety hazards and the likelihood of fading immunity.
Prof Eyal Leshem, an infectious diseases specialist at Tel Aviv’s Sheba Medical Center who has examined the efficiency of boosters, said that “the increased benefit for a fourth dose is not likely to be large,” and that they should be aimed at susceptible individuals.
“From a global perspective, use of multiple boosters in low-risk populations during a short period should be weighed against the global shortage of Covid vaccines.”