The Health Ministry decided on Monday to encourage vaccinating adolescents aged 12–15 against coronavirus after several outbreaks were recorded in several schools across the country.
According to a source familiar with the ministry's discussions, health officials were aiming for a quick and broad vaccination rollout since most of the country's vaccine stockpile was due to expire by the end of next month.
The ministry has reportedly set a goal to inoculate as many youths as possible by July 9 with the first vaccine dose, and administer the supplementary booster shot by the end of July.
For the time being, youths who have recovered from the virus will not receive the jab.
The ministry announced on Saturday dozens of coronavirus cases have been detected in the northern town of Binyamina, most of them were students from the same local school. The outbreak was attributed to one family that had recently returned from abroad.
Health officials feared that the outbreak was caused by the fast-spreading Delta variant that originated in India.
At least 89 students and staff at the town's Kramim School have tested positive for the virus and over 950 people were ordered to go into self-isolation.
Another outbreak was reported Sunday in the Jordan Valley, where a resident of a local kibbutz tested positive for the virus after returning from a business trip to Dubai.
His children had also tested positive for COVID-19 and the elementary school they attended was shut down pending the results of mass testing.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry announced on Monday that 88 new cases of coronavirus virus have been detected put some 22,000 tests conducted since midnight, putting Israel's infection rate at 0.4% — the highest such figure since late April.
The number of active coronavirus patients across that country almost doubled within days from under 200 to 387.
There were 51 coronavirus patients hospitalized across the country, 24 of which were in serious condition and 18 were connected to ventilators.
Despite the spike in infections, the number of serious cases remains steady.
Since the onset of the pandemic in Israel last March, 6,427 people have succumbed to OCIVD-19 — six of them in June alone.