Photo Credit: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90
Yoav, a nine-years-old boy from Tel Aviv, received his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, November 22, 2021.

Israel’s children’s vaccination campaign kicked off officially on Tuesday morning as 22,000 vaccinations for children aged 11-5 have already been ordered by parents from the HMOs. As part of the operation, mobile vaccination units will operate in several localities in the periphery as well as in the Bedouin community in the south. The Me’uchedet HMO set up a mobile vaccination unit for children on Monday in Dizengoff Circle in Tel Aviv, and hundreds of children were vaccinated ahead of the official start. The Maccabi HMO branch in Ramat Hasharon also began vaccinating children on Monday.

The infection rate in Israel rose to 1.04 on Monday, which means that the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the country. In light of this, the Corona Cabinet will convene on Tuesday to discuss ways to bring down the coefficient of infection below 1.

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Since about half of the new infections in recent days are in children between ages 0 and 11, the Health Ministry hopes that the children’s vaccination campaign will help deal with the renewed spread of the virus.

As of Tuesday morning, the rate of positive tests in Israel stands at 0.61%, with 454 new cases. There are 129 Corona patients in serious condition in Israel’s hospitals, out of whom 90 are critical, 31 connected to ECMO machines, and 80 on ventilators. 8,177 have died of Corona since the outbreak of the pandemic in February 2020.

Prof. Tzachi Grossman, Chairman of the Israeli Pediatric Association, told Reshet Bet radio Tuesday morning he believes that within a few months there will be a good number of vaccinated children in Israel. “Many parents’ fears of vaccinating their children stem from the noises on social media,” he said, adding, “We have good answers to all their concerns.” Prof. Grossman stressed that the risks from Corona far outweigh the risks from the vaccine.

Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash told Kan 11 News Monday night: “Obviously, at first the parents would hesitate, but slowly they’ll come around and vaccinate their children.” He said that most of the vaccinations for children will take place at the HMO clinics, and vaccinations in schools will only be done in specific places where there’s a demand for them.

Over the summer the Education and Health ministries clashed over the plan to vaccinate children on school grounds during school hours.

With Chanukah approaching (the first candle is next Sunday night – DI), Prof. Ash said he would consider setting up mobile vaccination units outside entertainment shows for children, which proliferate on the holiday of lights. “I’m not sure whoever comes to the shows will want to get vaccinated, but if there seems to be a demand, we’ll do that, too.” He also said that as long as the morbidity rates in Israel remain where they have been in recent weeks, there would be no limits on shows during and after Chanukah.

The Corona Cabinet will likely decide that the Chanukah shows will take place as usual, but there will be extreme enforcement of the green pass rules to prevent new outbreaks. The number of ushers in the concert halls will be increased, a control and enforcement plan will be formulated by the police, and there will be surprise checks during Chanukah events across the country. In addition, antigen testing stations will be set up near the event complexes, facemasks will be mandatory during the shows, and there will be a national information campaign on children’s vaccination.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.
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