Photo Credit: Tomer Neuberg / Flash 90
Health worker prepares to inject a dose of anti-COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center established by the Tel Aviv municipality and Magen David Adom on July 4, 2021

Israelis ages 60 and up will begin receiving a third “booster” shot of COVID-19 vaccine next week, the Health Ministry announced Thursday.

The injection is only available to those age 60 and over whose last shot was five months ago, or longer.

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The ministry’s coronavirus vaccination committee voted in an absolute majority late Wednesday night to approve a third shot for Israeli senior citizens.

“The decision was based on considerable research and analysis, as well as the rise in risk of the Delta variant wave,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement released to media.

“Israel has already vaccinated 2,000 immunosuppressed people with a third dose with no severe adverse events, and now we’re rolling out a national third dose campaign.

“We will share all the information we have with the rest of the global community as we make progress,” Bennett added.

By Thursday morning, representatives of Israeli assisted living facilities were meeting with Professor Nimrod Maimon, head of the Magen Avot V’Imahot program to discuss implementation of the new policy.

Maimon told them that the booster shots will be immediately administered at the homes.

The third jab can be administered beginning this coming Sunday, August 1, Israeli HMOs were told by the Health Ministry.

Green Pass Program Now in Effect
The rejuvenated “Green Pass” program approved last week by the government went into effect on Thursday.

The program requires those age 12 and up who enter establishments with 100 or more people to present the document which confirms the bearer has been fully vaccinated or recovered from the virus.

If neither apply, the individual must present a negative result from a coronavirus PCR test taken within the past 72 hours.

A Green Pass or similar document is also necessary for Israelis entering Ben Gurion International Airport and other border crossings.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.