Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that Israelis and medical teams over the age of 60 would be eligible for a fourth COVID vaccination following the recommendation of an expert panel.
The decision came as the state was struggling to contain the spread, travel and other restrictions of the Omicron version while avoiding the domestic lockdown.
“I ordered to prepare for the fourth vaccination immediately,” Bennett said on Twitter, adding that a spokesman said Israel would be the first country in the world to have a fourth shot.
“The world will follow in our footsteps.”
Earlier, Bennett echoed the recommendation of the country’s epidemiological committee to give a fourth coronavirus vaccination to more than 60 Israelis and medical teams “wonderful news.”
“(It) will help us get out of the ommicron wave that is sweeping the world,” he said.
“Israeli citizens were the first in the world to receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and we have been leading the way with the fourth dose as well,” he said in remarks relayed by his office, which meets those who “go and get vaccinated.” “Criteria.
People with immunodeficiency will also be eligible for the fourth shot, which can be given to them, the elderly and medical teams at least four months after the third shot, a health ministry statement said.
Bennett’s remarks came after a meeting of the country’s ministerial coronavirus cabinet, which had convened amid growing concern over the spread of the Omicron variant.
The cabinet had issued a ban on eating in shopping malls and directed that children from communities with high morbidity and low vaccination rates learn from home.
Earlier on Tuesday, lawmakers banned US travel to citizens and residents, adding it to a list of more than 50 countries declared off-limits in an effort to contain the Omicron coronavirus pandemic.
Committee spokesman Ronit Gall said in a statement that a parliamentary committee recommended the health ministry to put the United States on Israel’s “red list” along with Italy, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Morocco, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey. Voted to approve the recommendation.
Gall said the ban would take effect from Wednesday and would remain in place for at least a week.
The United Kingdom, France and Spain were already included in the Red List, along with the United Arab Emirates and most countries in Africa.
Adding the US to the red list was a significant step for Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government, as hundreds of thousands of Israelis hold US citizenship.
The designation means that Israeli passport holders and residents cannot fly to the US without the permission of the Exemption Committee.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the highly transmissible Omicron variant accounted for 73.2 percent of new cases in the US for the week ending Saturday.
first omicron death
The latest Israeli sanctions were approved as the health ministry reported there were 1,148 confirmed or “highly likely” Omicron cases in the country as of Tuesday.
More than half of the cases were among those who were vaccinated.
Also on Tuesday, the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba announced that a person infected with Omicron had died, in what was thus considered Israel’s first death.
A statement from Soroka said the man, in his 60s, suffered from “multiple serious” pre-existing medical conditions and died on Monday after two weeks of hospitalization.
The Omicron cases were part of an upward trend of coronavirus infections. On Monday, 1,306 cases were registered, last seen in October.
Israel blocked nearly all foreign visitors last month after Omicron was detected in South Africa, just weeks after allowing tourists to enter for the first time since the pandemic began.
More than 4.1 million Israelis in a country of about 9.3 million people have received three doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
But vaccination rates in teens and young children remain low. Less than one percent of children aged five to 11 years have received a single coronavirus jab.