Israel could become the first country in the world to roll out a fourth COVID-19 dose as it prepares to start offering the jabs to people over 60 and some at-risk groups and medical personnel.
On Tuesday, a government body of health experts called the Pandemic Treatment Staff, recommended that health workers, people over the age of 60 and other at-risk groups get the fourth dose.
The fourth booster dose will be administered at least four months from the third dose.
Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett welcomed the recommendation and ordered that officials prepare to roll out the extra vaccine booster. He said:
This is wonderful news that will assist us in getting through the Omicron wave that is engulfing the world.
… The citizens of Israel were the first in the world to receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and we are continuing to pioneer with the fourth dose as well.
Isreal was the first country to offer a third booster shot, rolling it out for at-risk groups before expanding the program to the general population weeks later.
More than four million Israelis have received the third dose, out of 9.3 million people.
The country’s Health Ministry on Tuesday announced that 170 new cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus had been confirmed, doubling the number of infections.
To date, there have been 341 verified Omicron cases in Israel, the Health Ministry said in a statement.