Director General of the Health Ministry Prof. Nachman Ash said Wednesday he opposes forcing parents to vaccinate their young children against coronavirus once the measure is approved by local experts.
Israel is expected to approve vaccination of children aged 5-11 after U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine for that specific age group.
In an interview on Ynet on Wednesday, Ash said he did not expect a rush to vaccination sites once the rollout starts despite the overwhelming majority of experts voting to recommend an FDA approval of the jabs.
"Our policy is to take a positive approach," Ash said. "Children who will be vaccinated will be exempt from the need to test for COVID under the Green Pass regulations," he added.
"After the FDA ruling, we will study their data as well as our own. I don't expect any surprises, but the decision will be made in an orderly fashion by professionals."
Ash said the Israeli decision-making process will be more transparent than ever and debated on the authorization of the vaccines in Israel will be open to public. "We want people to be able to express their opinions," he said.
He added the vaccines will likely start being administered to children aged 5-11 from next month. The campaign will likely be held in community health clinics and also in schools, with the aim of making accessibility to the shots as easy as possible.
"The process from the first dose to immunity takes around one month, and we must offer parents the shots early enough before morbidity rates climb again," he said.