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Israel launches Covid booster shot campaign

About 55% of Israel’s nine million population has been double vaccinated, most with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.
Agencies | , Ramat Gan
PUBLISHED ON JUL 31, 2021 02:39 AM IST
Israeli President Isaac Herzog speaks to his wife, Michal, left, before the couple received a third coronavirus vaccine at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan.(AP)

Israel launched a campaign on Friday to give the over-60s coronavirus booster shots, at a time when the rest of the world is still struggling to complete the standard course. Kicking off the campaign, Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, 60, received a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a hospital in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv.

An Israeli epidemiologist of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, Hagai Levine, acknowledged his country was going it alone with third shots. “This decision is based on experts’ opinion, on logic but not on solid scientific evidence, but that is okay,” Levine told AFP.

About 55% of Israel’s nine million population has been double vaccinated, most with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced the start of the booster campaign for over 60s on Thursday, as concern mounts over the fast-spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus.

“Israel is a pioneer in going ahead with third doses for people of the age of 60 and above,” said the 49-year-old premier who accompanied Herzog to the hospital for the jab.

“The fight against the Covid pandemic is a global fight. The only way we can defeat Covid is together,” he said.

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