Israel announced on Dec. 21 that it recommends a fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 dose to people aged over 60.
The Israeli Health Ministry said in a statement that healthcare workers and immunocompromised people will also be eligible for the fourth dose provided that four months have passed since their third dose.
The Health Ministry also recommended to shorten the gap between the second dose and the third dose from five months to three months.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett hailed the vaccine recommendation as “wonderful news.”
“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,” Bennet said.
The vaccine recommendation comes amid concerns over the rapid spread of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.
According to the Health Ministry, Israel has recorded at least 340 known cases of the Omicron variant.
The announcement also came as Israel confirmed its first known death of a patient with the new variant.
The patient was a man in his 60s who suffered from multiple serious pre-existing health conditions, according to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.
The patient’s death came two weeks after he was admitted to the COVID-19 ward of the hospital.
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