Israel To Wait For FDA Approval Before Vaccinating Children 5-11 Years, Official Says


A senior health official confirmed on Wednesday that Israel will await approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration before starting to administer COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 5 to 11, as he said. also done before starting to vaccinate those aged 12 to 16.

“We are awaiting regulatory approval,” Dr Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of the ministry’s public health services, told military radio.

Pfizer said on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine works for children aged 5 to 11. The lower dose for young children was also found to be safe, with similar or fewer temporary side effects – such as sore arms, fever, or body aches – that teens experience, the company said.

Alroy-Preis said the issue of immunizing young children was different from the third booster vaccine, which Israel began administering before the FDA even discussed it, because “we have seen from the data that the protection of the vaccine was reduced ”.

The FDA was due to announce its decision on the boosters on Wednesday, days after its panel recommended them only for people over 65 or at high risk.

Israel also began by distributing the third doses to these groups, before expanding them to anyone aged 12 and over if five months have passed since their second injection.

Dr Sharon Alroy-Preis, Head of Public Health Services, Ministry of Health, Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, July 14, 2021 (Noam Revkin Fenton / Flash90)

Meanwhile, data from the Department of Health indicated that 85% of new serious COVID-19 patients under the age of 60 had not received any vaccine doses, according to the Ynet news site. Only 2.3% of them received three doses of the vaccine and the rest received two doses.

In total, more than 70% of all current severe COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated.

Dr Erez Barenboim, director of Assuta Hospital in Ashdod, said on Wednesday that “anyone who does not get the vaccine is practically playing Russian roulette with their life.”

Dr Erez Barenboim, General Manager of Assuta Hospital in Ashdod. (Courtesy: Erez Barenboim)

The health ministry said on Wednesday that 4,800 new cases of the coronavirus had been confirmed the day before, with testing dipping slightly on the first day of the Sukkot holiday.

The rate of positive tests was 4.7%, the lowest in 1.5 months.

The ministry also said that as of Wednesday morning, 6,073,103 Israelis had received at least one dose of the vaccine, 5,593,597 had received two injections and 3,104,708 had received a booster. The total population, including children who cannot be vaccinated, is around 9.3 million.

There were 74,898 active cases, including 1,123 in hospitals. Of these, 723 were in serious condition, including 251 defined as critical.

The death toll increased by 15 overnight and reached 7,582.

One of the deceased was veteran basketball coach Eric Alfasi, who was hospitalized with COVID-19 three weeks ago and died of complications from the disease on Wednesday.

Hapoel Eilat head coach Eric Alfasi during the Israeli Premier League basketball match between Hapoel Fattal Eilat and Hapoel Jerusalem at the Jerusalem Pais Arena on December 21, 2019 (Flash90)

Alfasi was the coach of the Israel national youth team and the assistant coach of the adults team. He was the Israeli Premier League basketball coach of the season in 2010, when he coached Barak Netanya, and he coached many other top teams.

The league said Wednesday night’s League Cup quarter-final match between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Rishon LeZion would start with a minute of applause for Alfasi, and players from both teams will wear armbands. black.

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