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Top COVID expert defends latest boosters: ‘We’re always ahead of the rest’

Prof. Galia Rahav, head of Sheba Medical Center’s Infectious Disease Laboratory who is running a trial on the effectiveness of fourth vaccine doses against Omicron, rejects criticism by the World Health Organization over Israel’s booster program.

WHO officials have said repeated boosters in wealthy countries will not end the pandemic, and that shots must be diverted to poorer nations to inoculate their populations, or else new variants will continue to emerge.

Rahav tells Channel 12: “We’re always ahead of the rest. That’s been the case the whole way. We learned a lot about the third shot before the rest. And we saw its amazing effect — reducing illness in the most impressive way.”

Now, she said, populations that received the third shot six months ago “don’t have neutralizing antibodies in the blood. We’re starting to see a little contagion among those in elderly care facilities — illness and hospitalization.”

Screen capture from video of Prof. Galia Rahav head of the Infectious Disease Unit at the Sheba Medical Center. (YouTube)

Notably, antibodies are expected go down over time, and their presence is only a part of the immune system’s preparedness for contagion.

“We don’t yet have clinical, peer-reviewed data showing the effectiveness of the fourth shot. But checking the danger on one hand and the chances [that the booster is effective] on the other, the chances [that it is] are far higher.”

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