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Fourth COVID shot 'a matter of time,' Israel's Health chief says

Health officials have been floating the possibility of a fourth shot since September, shortly after beginning the campaign for the third dose

An Israeli receives a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Katzrin, Nov. 16, 2021. (Photo: Michael Giladi/Flash90)

Israel is already looking at the possibility of a fourth shot for COVID-19, Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash said this week.

“It’s probably a matter of time, and the question is how long. If [vaccine protection] lasts for a year, we’d be delighted... In any case, it probably will not last many years, even the booster shot, and we will have to keep getting vaccinated from time to time. I hope it will be a year or more,” Ash said at a press briefing on Sunday.

Health officials have been floating the possibility of a fourth shot since September, shortly after beginning the campaign for the third dose.

Ash's prognosis this week comes as the Ministry of Health reported on Sunday that the infection rate had crept over 1% indicating that another outbreak of the coronavirus could be looming.

Israel was the first country in the world to make the booster shot mandatory for all citizens 16 years old and up in order to maintain their Green Passport, a digital vaccine/recovery certificate that enables entry into places such as universities, some workplaces, gyms, theaters and restaurants.

The booster campaign began in late July after a record number of daily infections contributed to the fourth wave in the Holy Land despite having one the world’s highest vaccination rates.

This week, the Ministry of Health also recommended that children from age 12 get a booster shot five months after their previous round of injections. Israel exclusively uses the Pfizer vaccine which, according to the company, is 100% effective in protecting adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 from getting COVID.

The vaccine has received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for ages 5 and up.

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