Isreal became the first nation to offer a third dose to people over the age of 60 years after vaccinating at least 57% of the 9.3 million population with both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The country’s health ministry said that people above the age of 60, who got both the doses at least five months back, will be offered a third dose from this Sunday, according to a Hindustan Times report quoting local news agency Haaretz. Israel has given the first dose to at least 64% of the population.
This announcement makes Isreal the first nation to offer a booster dose against coronavirus infections among vaccinated people.
The third dose could also be seen as an effort by the Israeli government against the spread of Delta variant that has been causing an outbreak in several countries including China.
A third shot has already been given to over 4,000 people with compromised immune systems and there were no signs of side effects, Haaretz quoted an expert as saying.
However, some experts have reportedly cautioned Israel’s health ministry, which earlier reported a drop in the vaccine’s efficacy, to wait a little more data about the safety and efficacy of a third dose. They also mentioned that the vaccine’s effectiveness in severe symptoms among those aged above 60 years dropped from 97% in January to 81%.
Pharma giant and vaccine manufacturer Pfizer, on Wednesday, pointed out the need for a booster dose to ensure better protection against Covid.
The company also announced that it will be applying for emergency authorisation in the US before August this year.