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Health Ministry panel recommends COVID vaccines for Israel’s youngest kids

A young girl receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Jerusalem on December 30, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
A young girl receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Jerusalem on December 30, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

A Health Ministry panel of experts recommends COVID vaccines for Israel’s youngest kids, with a final decision on the matter to be made by Director-General Nachman Ash.

The Health Ministry says in a statement that “all members of the panel believed that the vaccine had a high safety profile.”

The decision to back the vaccine is unanimous.

The Health Ministry provides a full breakdown of the votes:

  • 58% voted in favor of a recommendation to vaccinate children with preexisting conditions and to allow the vaccination of children without risk factors.
  • 13% voted in favor of a recommendation to vaccinate all children.
  • 13% voted in favor of allowing the vaccination of all children.
    .
    16% recommended restricting the vaccine only to children with preexisting conditions that could lead to a higher risk if they contracted the virus.
  • 87% said there should be no distinguishing between children who have recovered or were not known to have contracted the virus.
  • 13% thought that those children who have previously tested positive should not be vaccinated.

The recommendation will now be considered by Ash, who will make the final decision on the matter. The panel’s recommendation comes amid a sixth wave of infections in the country.

Earlier this month, US health authorities cleared the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children aged five and younger.

Under US regulations, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the shot widely used in Israel, is authorized for children aged six months to four years.

It is given in doses of three micrograms per injection — one-tenth the adult dosage.

Under the US regimen, children receive three shots — the first two are three weeks apart, followed by a third dose eight weeks later.

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