Israeli Health Ministry experts on Thursday recommended lowering the minimum age for a Covid-19 vaccine booster from 60 to 50, hoping to contain a surge in contagious Delta variant infections.
The advisory panel’s move to expand Israel’s booster campaign, still has to be approved by the Health Ministry’s director.
Two major health providers have already said they would begin on Friday to schedule appointments for people aged between 50 and 59 to get a third dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine.
New daily cases dropped in Israel from more than 10,000 in January to single digits in June, due to a successful vaccination campaign launched in late 2020, in which about 60 percent of the population have received two doses of the vaccine.
But with the spread of the Delta variant across the globe, infections soared in Israel, reaching 5,946 on Monday, and serious illnesses have also been increasing.
More than 700,000 seniors in Israel have received their third shot.
“I commend the team of health experts on treating pandemics for making the right decision for the health of the citizens of Israel,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said late on Thursday.
“I call on everyone over 50 to get in line tomorrow morning. Go get vaccinated.”