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Israeli prime minister receives COVID-19 booster shot

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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was given a third COVID-19 vaccine shot on Friday as the country expanded booster shot eligibility to those over the age of 40 who had gotten their second shot at least five months earlier.

“If you go get vaccinated with a third shot, we will be able to avoid a fourth lockdown,” 49-year-old Bennett said before he got his third shot, according to Reuters.

Israel’s Ministry of Health announced the expanded vaccine eligibility on Friday and said that certain groups such as pregnant women, health care workers and teachers should get the COVID-19 booster shot, the wire service noted.

Israel started giving a third shot of the COVID-19 vaccine to people beginning in July, and the country started giving out boosters to people age 60 and older, including its president, Isaac Herzog. In mid-August, that eligibility was later expanded to those age 50 and up.

Out of the country’s 9.3 million people, over 1 million have gotten the booster, Reuters reported. The country has been offering the third shot after research from Israel suggested that the COVID-19 vaccine’s effectiveness against infections had started to diminish over time. 

The Biden administration recently laid out their own plans to provide booster shots to most Americans, with booster shots to start being administered on Sept. 20.

Health officials said that for those who received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, Americans would need a third shot eight months after receiving their second dose.

“The available data make very clear that protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decrease over time following the initial doses of vaccination, and in association with the dominance of the Delta variant, we are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease,” top health officials from the Biden administration said in a statement on Wednesday.


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