Tuesday September 21, 2021

Israel launches booster shot drive for over-60s

AFP
July 31, 2021

RAMAT GAN, Israel: 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.

“We are beginning the booster vaccination” so that life in Israel can return to “normal” as soon as possible, Herzog said after getting the injection. “With this new step of the Israeli government... I believe that it’s also a lesson to the entire humankind that we have to protect each other and take the necessary steps.”

Israel was quick to roll out its vaccination campaign and had dropped many restrictions on public gatherings in June, as new Covid-19 cases shrank from 10,000 a day to less than 100.

But infections have soared in recent weeks, and masks are once again mandatory in enclosed public places.

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. Benjamin Netanyahu, the longtime premier that Bennett ousted in June, also took a third jab on Friday.

Israel recorded more than 2,100 Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours to Friday.

Over 160 people remain in serious condition out of a total of 286 Covid patients receiving hospital treatment, according to the health ministry.