A young girl receives a dose of a coronavirus vaccine during clinical trials to test safety and efficacy in children

Israel to begin vaccinating kids aged 5–11 against COVID next week

Batches of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine fitted for children set to arrive in coming days; Health Ministry vaccine panel will discuss FDA's recommendation of three week interval between shots

Adir Yanko |
Published: 11.14.21, 19:47
Batches of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine fitted for children aged 5–11 are expected to arrive in the country in the coming days as the country braces to begin their administration next week.
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  • Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash told Ynet Sunday morning that the only thing that was delaying the vaccine rollout for children was the arrival of the vaccine shipment in Israel
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    A young girl receives the coronavirus vaccine during clinical trials to test safety and efficacy in children
    A young girl receives the coronavirus vaccine during clinical trials to test safety and efficacy in children
    A young girl receives a dose of a coronavirus vaccine during clinical trials to test safety and efficacy in children
    (Photo: Reuters)
    "I hope they arrive in the next few days," Prof. Ash said interview. "We want to get on with it as soon as possible."
    According to Ash, the vaccine will be rolled out through the country's health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and will also be available at schools and municipal vaccination centers.
    The Health Ministry's vaccine committee is also set to convene on Wednesday to discuss whether to abide by the FDA's recommendation and the two doses three weeks apart or rather wait longer between administering both shots.
    The panel approved the administration of the vaccine for children last week by an overwhelming majority.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    ילדים מתחסנים בארה"ב
    ילדים מתחסנים בארה"ב
    Vials of Pfizer-BioNTech’s fitted for children
    (Photo: AFP)
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer pediatric vaccine for use last month, with the U.S. Center for Disease Control saying they were safe for use and recommended in order to protect young children from COVID-19.
    Epidemiology and public health expert at Ben-Gurion University Prof. Nadav Davidovitch told Ynet last week ahead of the panel's meeting, that despite some side effects that can be expected when any medication or vaccine is administered, "the risk from the vaccine is much smaller than the risk from the disease itself."
    "It also gives us peace, because it not only protects our children, but also protects us as a society,” he said.
    In response to claims that there was no medical need to vaccinate young children against the virus, now that the fourth wave of the pandemic caused by the Delta variant has diminished, Davidovitch said that the virus was still with us and will not disappear.
    "There are more than five million dead worldwide… People need to be told to get vaccinated right now, when things are calmer, so that they can cope later, in case of an additional surge in cases," he said.
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