Jul 29, 2021 - Health

Israel to offer third COVID vaccine dose to people over 60

Picture of al older woman getting vaccinated
A woman receives her third dose of COVID19 vaccine at Sheba Medical Center on July 14, 2021 in Israel. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

Israel will begin offering a third shot of the coronavirus vaccine to people over the age of 60 starting Sunday, Haaretz reports.

Why it matters: Israel will become the first country to begin giving booster shots, per Haaretz. The country will offer doses to those over 60 who received their second dose at least five months ago.

  • Booster shots have not been approved yet in the U.S. or in Europe.
  • Experts said that giving third doses to older Israeli adults "could be the best chance to stem a spike of infections in the past six weeks," the Washington Post writes.

The big picture: Earlier this month, Israel said it would begin giving third doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to adults with weak immune systems, Reuter notes.

  • Pfizer on Wednesday said it has data that shows that a third shot "strongly" increases antibody levels against the Delta variant.

By the numbers: Israel has reported a total of 867,240 confirmed cases and 6,462 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

  • 5,346,013 people have been fully vaccinated, which represents around 59% of the total population, per JHU.
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