Israel's top coronavirus health expert, Prof. Nachman Ash, said on Sunday that the Health Ministry was set to deliver its decision on whether to start vaccinating adolescents against the pathogen in the coming days.
"We are conducting a comprehensive investigation into reports possibly linking vaccines and a small number of cases of myocarditis [inflammation of the heart muscle] in adolescents," Ash said.
"Once we make the decision, we will present them to the public," he said, adding that he believed the results would conclude that vaccines did not pose any danger.
According to a New York Times report published on Saturday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was looking into reports that a handful of teenagers and young adults who were inoculated against coronavirus may have developed heart problems, citing the CDC's vaccine safety group.
Ash also warned that COVID-19 outbreaks were still possible among vaccinated civilians following a recent outbreak at a retirement home in the city of Ra'anana, which came off the heels of a similar chain of infections in which 18 tenants of a nursing home in Be'er Sheva were found to have contracted the virus despite having received both doses of the Pfizer Inc vaccine.
"We will have such outbreaks from time to time. In all but one case, patients were either asymptomatic or displayed very mild symptoms," Ash said. "This can happen and probably will happen again."
"We are keeping a close eye on cases among the inoculated population, with an emphasis on the elderly, and we see no change in the trajectory of the disease. There is a consistent decline in morbidity," he said.
Ash said the ministry was still awaiting test results to determine whether the latest outbreak was caused by new variants of the virus.
"I suspect not," he said. "I believe the British variant is responsible for the reported illnesses," he said.