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Israel rolls out new Omicron-tailored COVID-19 vaccines

An Israeli women receives the fifth Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from medical staff at Clalit Health services in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.  The fifth vaccine available to Israelis is one that specifically targets the Omicron strain. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
An Israeli women receives the fifth Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from medical staff at Clalit Health services in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. The fifth vaccine available to Israelis is one that specifically targets the Omicron strain. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Israel today begins administering doses of coronavirus vaccines tailored to fight the highly infectious Omicron variant as its health authorities urges at-risk groups and those over 65 to get the shot.

The rollout of the new vaccine makes Israels one of the first countries to start distributing Omicron-specific vaccines. Health officials are now voicing growing concerns about increased COVID-19 infections in the upcoming winter.

Arsen Arutiunian, an official with healthcare provider Clalit, says there has been “big demand” for the booster since the new campaign began. He said the clinic has been flooded with phone calls from people of all ages looking to schedule an appointment.

“I received all of the previous vaccinations. So far, touch wood, I haven’t been infected even though my entire family has. I’ve somehow become Teflon,” said Eytan Gurfinkel, a Tel Aviv resident.

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