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Health Ministry chief: We’re still waiting to receive vaccines for children

Jamie Onofrio Franceschini, 11, watches as RN Rosemary Lantigua prepares a syringe with her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children five to 12 years old at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, on November 3, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Jamie Onofrio Franceschini, 11, watches as RN Rosemary Lantigua prepares a syringe with her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children five to 12 years old at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, on November 3, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Health Ministry director general Nachman Ash says that the first shipment of the special Pfizer COVID vaccine designed for children ages 5 to 11 have yet to arrive in Israel.

“It will arrive some time in the next few days or maybe up to two weeks,” Ash tells Channel 13 news.

Health Ministry experts voted last night to approve giving the vaccine to children under 12, but shots cannot begin to be rolled out before the shipments arrive. The specially-designed doses for children are about one-third of the dose given to adults.

Ash also says that there will not be pressure on parents to vaccinate younger children, and that tests for children under 12 to enter certain events will remain free — unlike for those over age 12 who are not vaccinated.

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