Israel on Tuesday will begin vaccinating children aged five to 11 against COVID-19, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said.
The Jewish state on Sunday gave approval for inoculating the younger children with Pfizer-BioNTech jabs, but arrival of the vaccines was delayed.
According to Israeli media, hundreds of thousands of doses, initially expected to arrive mid-week, will be in the country this Sunday.
“Starting on Tuesday, children will also be able to be vaccinated,” Bennett wrote on his Facebook page on Friday.
The authorities had already begun vaccinating minors aged 12 to 17 but decided to lower the age threshold in the wake of trials by Pfizer and recommendations from a panel of Israeli scientists.
The company’s clinical trials on children showed the vaccine to be 90.7 percent effective in preventing symptomatic illness.
Israel joins several other countries offering vaccines to young children. They include the US, which is also using Pfizer, as well as the United Arab Emirates, Cambodia, Colombia and Cuba.
Israel was one of the first countries to launch a vaccination campaign against the coronavirus last year thanks to a deal with Pfizer that gave it access to millions of doses in exchange for data on the vaccine’s efficacy.
The campaign has allowed health authorities to fully vaccinate some 5.7 million of the country’s nine million people.
Daily cases topped 10,000 in late August and early September, driven by the Delta variant, but a campaign for a third, booster shot has appeared key in driving down infections.
© 2021 AFP
Israeli children 5-11 to get COVID vaccine shots from Tuesday (2021, November 19)
retrieved 19 November 2021
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