According to a media report on Thursday, Israel will begin vaccinating its population with the new generation of coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer to fight against the new COVID-19 strains by the end of this month. better for.
The vaccine consignment landed in Israel on Tuesday and is expected to reach clinics by the end of September, Salman Zarqa, the head of the coronavirus task force, announced on Wednesday.
The Times of Israel (TOI) reported that Zarka, however, did not specify the number of fresh shots Pfizer fired.
They are expected to be available in clinics within two weeks or at least by the end of the month, the report said.
Zarka also did not share details of how the vaccines are to be administered. In earlier phases, it started with front-line workers and those at high risk.
“The vaccines have already landed in Israel, and in the coming days they will be delivered to healthcare providers, and we will be able to initiate and administer them,” Zarka was quoted as saying in the report.
He stressed that the vaccines are “very highly recommended” for people at risk and medical professionals, adding that they will also be made available to the general public.
Israel was one of the first nations to fully vaccinate its population. About 4.5 million Israelis have been vaccinated with the third dose and about 8.4 million elderly and at-risk people have been given the fourth dose. More than 4.5 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Israel since the start of the pandemic, with 11,667 recorded deaths.
The new vaccine, adapted to the Omicron variant but to hold up well to later strains, has raised expectations and the scientific community is waiting to see their effectiveness compared to the original vaccines.
“We’re getting the first updates for vaccines two years later, which is exciting, but we’re still missing data about the real-life effectiveness of the new shots,” said lead immunologist Professor Cyril Cohen.
Cohen, who heads Bar Ilan University’s immunology lab, stressed that effectiveness in this case should be judged not by the level of infection, but by cases of severe disease.
Based on the very limited research that exists, which relies mostly on mouse model studies and in-vitro observation, immunologists expect benefit in “slight” cutting the infection, but believe that they ” May help increase protection against serious illness”.
“For this reason, they are most important for vulnerable and older populations, people with comorbidities, or immunosuppressed people,” Cohen said in the report.
Elaborating on the need to encourage new shots, the expert pointed out that research has shown that boosters provide additional protection, although relatively short-lived, and early studies indicate that the updated The shots given are at least as effective as the original vaccines.
“That means there’s nothing to lose by taking new shots, and time can show there are notable gains,” he said.
Some clues about the vaccine’s effectiveness can be studied within a few weeks by comparing the health of those who took the updated shots and those who didn’t, but this still doesn’t give a complete answer to why the new shots are needed by Israel. How much will you help? winter,” the report said.
This is because no one knows which variants may be revealed in the coming weeks.
“So far, it doesn’t look like new versions have emerged,” Cohen said, “but that could change later in the fall and winter, so, we can’t predict what the effectiveness of the vaccines will be.”
“The fact that we have access to updated vaccines, approved by regulators, is certainly good news for the most vulnerable as winter approaches,” emphasized the immunologist.
“But in reality, there is still some uncertainty because we don’t know how well our defense system will stand up until we know the nature of the attack, that is, how many mutations occur in the next version, where in the virus they occur, And how well new vaccines can deal with them,” he said.