JERUSALEM, Nov. 14 (Reuters) – Israel said Sunday that children ages five to 11 are eligible for vaccination against COVID-19 and that a campaign start date would be announced within days.
The decision, announced by the Department of Health last week, followed approval by its panel of vaccine experts after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned use of the vaccine from Pfizer (PFE.N) and BioNTech (22UAy. DE) for the emergency age group. a dose of 10 micrograms.
The original injection given to individuals 12 years of age and older is 30 micrograms. Pfizer and BioNTech have said their vaccine showed 90.7% efficacy against the coronavirus in a clinical trial of children ages five to 11.
In a statement, the ministry said a start date would be set within days for five to 11-year-olds to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
“The majority of the experts on the committee believed that the benefit of vaccination in this age group outweighed the risk,” the statement said.
Israel’s 9.4 million residents are relatively young, with about 1.2 million children in the five to 11 age group. Health officials doubt the country could achieve “herd immunity” unless those children were vaccinated.
A poll in Israel last week found that 27% of parents would allow their children under 12 to receive the vaccine, with 33% opposing and 40% undecided.
Four million Israelis have taken booster shots, which were approved in August for anyone who had had their second Pfizer shot at least five months earlier.
By adopting a “Living with COVID strategy,” the government kept schools and the economy largely open amid a fourth wave of infections, while hoping to curb the pandemic with booster shots, mandatory masks and a “Green Pass.” “Digital Certification System.
Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; edit by Barbara Lewis
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