Israelis set to be offered FOURTH Covid-19 jab as Omicron spreads

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Israelis set to be offered FOURTH Covid-19 jab as Omicron spreads

Health Ministry set to confirm the move to protect clinically vulnerable patients

Michael Daventry is Jewish News’s foreign and broadcast editor

Israelis aged 60 and above are set to be offered a fourth jab to combat the Omicron variant (Photo: Reuters)
Israelis aged 60 and above are set to be offered a fourth jab to combat the Omicron variant (Photo: Reuters)

Israel is on the verge of offering a fourth coronavirus vaccine to people aged over 60 after an expert panel recommended the move to protect vulnerable patients against the Omicron variant.

The Health Ministry is expected to approve the measure within days.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett welcomed the health panel’s announcement, calling it “great news that will help us overcome the Omicron wave that is spreading around the world.”

It came as the first death by a patient who contracted the new variant was confirmed in Israel.

A hospital in Beersheba said the man in his 60s died on Monday, two weeks after he was admitted to the COVID ward.

He also suffered from a number of pre-existing conditions.

“His morbidity stemmed mainly from pre-existing sicknesses and not from respiratory infection arising from the coronavirus,” the hospital said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the Health Ministry said there were at least 340 known cases of Omicron.

Israel has so far sought to combat Omicron by imposing travel bans on a number of European and North American countries, including Britain, the United States and Turkey.

Bennett’s office said it had also encouraged remote work by reducing office attendance to 50 percent for public sector employees.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Benny Gantz ordered the military’s Homefront Command to prepare for the eventuality of 5,000 new cases per day, according to his office.

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