Dec 27, 2021 - Health

Israel gives 4th dose of COVID vaccine in trial

A health worker preparing a dose of coronavirus vaccine in Modi'in in October 2021.

A health worker prepares a dose of a coronavirus vaccine in Modi'in, Israel, in October. Photo: Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua via Getty Images

Israel started a trial of a fourth dose of a coronavirus vaccine Monday, becoming what's believed to be the first country to study an additional booster dose, according to AP.

Driving the news: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett last week ordered the rollout of a fourth dose of the vaccine to certain individuals in response to the threat of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.

  • A Health Ministry panel recommended fourth doses for residents aged over 60, medical workers and those with compromised immune systems, but the recommendation still needs final approval, per Reuters.

Details: Fourth doses were given to 150 health workers who received Pfizer-BioNTech boosters at least four months ago, according to the New York Times.

  • The Times noted that it's unclear whether the Health Ministry would approve fourth doses before the study is completed.

The big picture: Israel has reported more than 22,000 coronavirus cases and at least 53 deaths from the virus in the past 28 days, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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