Israeli Health Officials Green Light COVID Vaccinations for Young Children

All members of the health ministry's expert advisory board agreed that the vaccine is safe for children under the age of five, though some experts cautioned that only those with underlying health conditions should be vaccinated

Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati
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A five-year-old receives the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Arizona.
A five-year-old receives the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Arizona.Credit: Ross D. Franklin/AP
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

Experts advising Israel's Health Ministry recommended on Wednesday that the country roll-out COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as six-months-old, following U.S. health officials' lead.

According to the ministry, all members of the advisory board believe that the vaccine is safe

The recommendation comes just weeks after U.S. health officials also approved COVID vaccines for children under 5.

According to the health ministry, a majority (58 percent) of the expert panel members voted in favor of recommending the vaccine to children with underlying health conditions, as well as allowing others to get vaccinated against COVID.

Thirteen percent voted in favor of recommending the vaccine to all children in the age group, regardless of their health condition. An additional thirteen percent voted in favor of approving the vaccine for all children, also regardless of their condition. Sixteen percent of the experts said only children with underlying health conditions should be able to receive the vaccine.

An overwhelming majority of the experts – eighty-seven percent – said that those who recovered from COVID and those who haven't been infected can also receive the vaccine. On the other hand, thirteen percent voted against vaccinating those who recovered from the virus.

Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash will review the recommendations before reaching a final decision, the ministry said.

Last week, COVID czar Professor Salman Zarka said that Israel has entered "a sixth wave" of coronavirus, after the country recorded its highest number of daily cases and serious cases since April, but said that no new restrictions are being weighed at this stage.

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