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Health officials discuss vaccination of children under 12 against COVID-19

ילדים מתחסנים

The Ministry of Health will meet on Sunday evening to discuss whether or not to vaccinate children under 12 against the corona virus, Ynet has been informed.

The discussion will be based on ongoing clinical studies conducted by Pfizer Inc on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in children aged six months to 12 years and will for now only focus on children in high risk groups or who live with immunosuppressed relatives .

The Ministry’s Epidemics Management Team had briefly discussed the issue in the past but dismissed it outright.

Meanwhile, the ministry reported on Sunday that more than 770 Israelis have tested positive for coronavirus this weekend.

With more than 117,000 tests performed during that period, the country’s infection rate was 0.5%.

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Tests against Corona in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square

Health worker conducts coronavirus test on a child at a special testing facility in Tel Avivviv’s Rabin Square

(Photo: Reuters)

According to the latest data, of the at least 4,108 active patients, 43 were hospitalized in serious condition and 13 of them were connected to ventilators.

Since the pandemic first arrived in the country early last year, 6,435 Israelis have succumbed to the pathogen, four of them in July alone and the last of them being a 75-year-old woman from Hadera who died on Saturday. The Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in the northern city where she was hospitalized reported that although the patient had received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine, she was suffering from significant underlying conditions.

Since Sunday, the ministry has designated five places in the country as coronavirus hotspots due to their relatively high infection rates. Those places are Kfar Yona, Shaarei Tikva, Ma’ale Adumim, Zofim and Yehud.

The continued rise in coronavirus morbidity has coincided with a latest effort by Israel to vaccinate as many adolescents aged 12-15 as the country’s stock of Pfizer Inc coronavirus vaccines near expiration.

Saturday was the last deadline for Israelis to receive their first of two required shots. Those wishing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 must do so until vaccine stocks are replenished.

Young people are the group most affected by the recent spate of infections caused by the highly transmissible Delta strain of coronavirus originally discovered in India.

Israel has fallen short of its goal of administering 30,000 vaccinations a day, set by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, with the highest vaccination turnout in recent months recorded last Tuesday when 17,669 Israelis received their first shot.

According to health ministry data released Friday, 29% of Israelis aged 12-15 had been vaccinated and 11% had recovered from the pathogen.

Bennett has reportedly spoken with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla several times since he came to power last month in hopes of replenishing Israel’s vaccine stockpile soon.

In addition to its efforts to secure a new deal with the US pharmaceutical giant, Jerusalem also has: signed a vaccine swap agreement with South Korea last week, Israel will ship 700,000 doses of vaccine to the East Asian country in exchange for a future shipment of the shots in September and October.



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