by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is expected to support an initiative for older citizens to get a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine after a panel of government health experts approved the idea on Wednesday, the Times of Israel reports. Experts approved the initiative as the number of seriously sick patients rose from 20 on Monday to 33 on Tuesday to 41 on Wednesday.
Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz were to hear from the health experts on Thursday, and thereafter announce approval for Israelis over the age of 60 to get a booster shot of the vaccine, TOI said.
The panel of health experts based their approval of a third shot in part on figures showing that the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing serious illness among over-60 patients who were vaccinated in January dropped from 97% in April to 81% in July, TOI reports.
The panel also considered figures from the UK, where the (AstraZeneca) vaccine remained more effective, perhaps because patients had to wait three months for the second shot, TOI said. Israelis primarily received the Pfizer shot, with only a three-week waiting period in between doses.
The move to administer a third shot was not approved by all experts on the panel, but by a majority, TOI reports. Health officials have estimated there will be 1,000 seriously ill patients by the end of August. Health officials estimate that there will be 1,000 patients in serious condition in total by the end of August.
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