Corona Czar Prof. Salman Zarka on Sunday morning told Reshet Bet radio that as of the beginning of next week, children ages 5-11 will start receiving the Pfizer Corona vaccines. Zarka said that the director-general of the Health Ministry, Prof. Nachman Ash, will sign on the recommendations of the advisory team for the treatment of epidemics and that this week the special vaccine doses for children will arrive in Israel.
According to reports, one of the options being weighed by the Health Ministry of Health is to increase the time gap between the doses given to the children. According to the proposal, which will be debated by the advisory committee next week, the second dose would be delivered three months instead of three weeks after the first. The doctors believe now that this would allow for an increase in the number of antibodies and may provide longer protection, along with delaying the vaccine’s attenuation.
“Israel has beaten the fourth wave thanks to the vaccines,” Prof. Zarka said, adding, “In Europe, there’s an increase in morbidity. They started a little late to vaccinate with the third dose. Unfortunately, the virus produces a lot of variants, and the higher the morbidity in the world, the more you have to be prepared and track all the global variants. It will be very difficult to prevent the penetration of a variant, but it is important to detect it early.”
On Sunday morning Israel Hayom quoted a Health Ministry senior official who said the vaccination campaign will start at the HMOs and not in the schools. “The main mass will be in the HMOs. In the schools, we will vaccinate in places where there’s special demand, where there’s parental consent and there seems to be a good response. But the main effort will be in the HMOs. In the past, vaccination in schools in the general sector was only a partial success, there were only a few seeking vaccinations. Today, our emphasis is more on the Arab and Haredi sectors.”
According to the same senior official, Israeli tourist’s air trains to several countries in Europe may be stopped soon. Last week many European countries have experienced an increase in morbidity due to Corona, and over the weekend the Netherlands and Austria entered a partial lockdown. As of today, Israel has yet to classify any foreign country as “red” (the Netherlands and Austria are “orange countries” which only entails a travel warning), but later this week, the Health Ministry will reassess the situation in light of the morbidity data of the different countries on the continent.
Regarding tourists that entered Israel in the past week, the same senior official told Israel Hayom: “The number of verified patients in the country has not increased since we opened up tourism last week.”