Israel Lowers Age of Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccine Booster to 30: Health Ministry

By Reuters
August 25, 2021 Updated: August 25, 2021

Israel expanded its COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to those over 30 years old on Tuesday, broadening its booster campaign amid a surge in the Delta variant.

A statement from the Health Ministry said its decision to lower the age of eligibility for a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine from 40 to 30 followed a recommendation of its advising experts and its epidemiology task-force and vaccines committee. Boosters are administered to people who have received their second dose at least five months ago.

Evidence has emerged showing that the vaccine’s protection diminishes with time. But there is no consensus among scientists and agencies that a third dose is necessary.

The United States has announced plans to offer booster doses to all Americans, eight months after their second vaccine dose, citing data showing diminishing protection. Canada, France, and Germany have also planned booster campaigns.

About a million of Israel’s 9.3 million population have so far chosen not to vaccinate and children under 12 are still not eligible for the shots.

Since Delta’s surge, Israel has reimposed indoor mask wearing, limitations on gatherings, and ramped up rapid testing.

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report