Israel Offers Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Recalls to At-Risk Adults
Israel said on Sunday it would start offering a booster of Pfizer Inc’s vaccine to adults with weakened immune systems, but it was still weighing whether a third set of vaccines should be given to the general public.
The rapid spread of the Delta variant has boosted vaccination rates in Israel as new infections have risen from a figure to around 450 per day over the past month, and the country has decided to speed up its next Pfizer shipment. .
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said that from now on, adults with weakened immune systems who have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine may be given a booster, with the decision pending further distribution. large.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech SE, the main providers of a rapid Israeli vaccination rollout that began in December, said on Thursday that they would ask US and European regulators in a matter of weeks to allow the booster injections.
The two companies spoke of an increased risk of infection after six months of requesting authorization for a third injection.
Drawing criticism from some scientists and officials, the companies have not shared data showing the risk, but said it will be made public soon.
“We are examining this question and we still do not have a definitive answer,” Horowitz, speaking on Kan public radio, said of a recall for the general population in Israel.
“In any case, we are now administering a third injection to people suffering from immunodeficiency … These are, for example, people who have undergone an organ transplant or who suffer from a pathology leading to a decrease in immunity.”
About half of the 46 patients currently hospitalized in Israel in serious condition are vaccinated, according to data from the Ministry of Health. Israel’s coronavirus pandemic response coordinator Nachman Ash said on Wednesday that the overwhelming majority of them belong to risk groups, are over 60 and have previous health issues.
Horowitz said that separately, the Department of Health would fill a supply gap from Pfizer for ongoing two-dose inoculations to the general adult population using Moderna Inc vaccines already in stock.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in remarks released to his cabinet on Sunday that he had agreed with Pfizer to bring the next dose delivery forward to August 1. Delivery was widely expected in September.
There was no immediate response from Pfizer to a request for comment.
Israel hopes that earlier deliveries will allow more young people to get vaccinated before the start of the school year in September.
Under the regulations of the Ministry of Health, young Israelis can receive injections from Pfizer, but not yet those produced by Moderna.
Israel has administered Pfizer injections almost exclusively to about 60% of its 9.3 million people. But a batch of 700,000 doses due to expire at the end of July was sent to South Korea, because a recent slowdown in the pace of vaccinations would probably have resulted in a loss of doses.
As part of the swap deal, Seoul will return the same number of shots, already ordered by Pfizer, in September and October.
“We have Moderna vaccines and adults who want to vaccinate can do so starting this morning, or maybe tomorrow, with Moderna vaccines,” Horowitz said.
This story was posted from an agency feed with no text editing.
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