Aug 29, 2021 - World

Israel offers COVID-19 vaccine booster to ages 12 and older

A paramedic administers the third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on Aug. 24 in Israel.

A paramedic administers the third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Aug. 24 in Israel. Photo: Ahmad Gharabali/AFP via Getty images

Israel on Sunday expanded its coronavirus booster shot program to include anyone over the age of 12, AP reports.

Why it matters: Israel has seen a surge in COVID cases, due in large part to the Delta variant, and now has one of the world's highest rates of infection. The country was already offering booster shots to people over 30 years old.

  • Early data has found that an additional dose of the COVID vaccine is slowing the spread of the Delta variant among the vaccinated, per AP.
  • About 2 million people in Israel received a third dose, or a fifth of the population.

The big picture: Israel has reported 1,045,800 cases and 6,950 deaths throughout the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

  • Earlier this month, the country announced it would tighten public health measures to curb the current surge in cases. Israeli officials have indicated they could impose new restrictions if the situation worsens, per the Jerusalem Post.

What they're saying: "The third vaccination works," Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a public appeal to increase vaccinations, per AP.

  • "There are already results: The increase in severe morbidity has begun to slow. However, the peak of the campaign is yet before us."
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