The Israeli government has recently announced that the eligibility for a third Covid-19 vaccine might soon be open to all those aged over 30 and then to everyone. Not only that, but the validity of the Green Pass – currently set to expire at the end of the year – might be shortened to six months after the second dose for those who don’t get a booster shot.
On July 30th, Israel began dosing citizens over 60 with a booster jab: Since that date, over 1.52 million people have received a third vaccine. Everyone over the age of 40 who are fully vaccinated – and have been for at least five months – have been eligible for a booster since Friday 20th August.
In total, 5.9 million Israelis have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine – around 58.5% of its population – with 1.08 million eligible people having chosen not to get the experimental injection.
Health officials have reported that those who have chosen not to get vaccinated are largely from ‘disadvantaged backgrounds.’ Out of the total figure of those who have refused the jab, 16% live in haredi (ultra-Orthodox) cities, 32% in Arab cities, and 53% in mixed cities (also including residents that identify with the haredi or Arab sector).
Not only is the government encouraging citizens to get the booster, but they are also pushing to get Israeli students vaccinated with a booster as they return to school.
Statistics show that 41% of students ages 12-15 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 79% of students 16-19.
From September 1st, students who are eligible to get the vaccine and have gained parental approval will be given shots on school grounds during school hours. The government hopes this move will “increase the pace of vaccination.”
In interviews with Israeli TV, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and the ministry’s director-general, Nachman Ash, said the eligibility might soon be extended to everyone over 30-years-old.
Horowitz added that when the booster is made available to everyone, the government will consider shortening the validity of the ‘Green Pass’ to six months after the second shot, and renew it again once people receive a booster.
Israel’s Green Pass shows proof of an individual’s coronavirus status, showing whether they have been vaccinated, and is required to gain entry to venues such as restaurants, bars, cinemas and other public spaces.
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