פרופ' סלמן זרקא
Coronavirus czar Salman Zarka
Photo: Barel Ephraim
FDA headquarters in Maryland

'Israel may start vaccinating children aged 5-11 from next month'

Coronavirus czar Salman Zarka says Israel's decision to vaccinate young children against COVID is not a given and FDA data must be reviewed before deciding; adds preparations must still be place for late November vaccine rollout

Adir Yanko, Alexandra Lukash |
Published: 10.25.21, 15:33
A senior health official said that Israel may start vaccinating children aged 5-11 against coronavirus as soon as next month.
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  • Coronavirus czar Professor Salman Zarka told Ynet the vaccine rollout for young children will start after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the jabs for ages five and 11, which will likely happen on Tuesday.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    מטה ה-FDA במרילנד, ארה"ב
    מטה ה-FDA במרילנד, ארה"ב
    FDA headquarters in Maryland
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Prof. Zarka said that if the vaccine gets the FDA approval, the vaccination rollout in Israel could begin in late November but extensive discussions will be held on the matter based on FDA data.
    "Our agenda is to protect the public, protect children and adults, end the fourth wave and be prepared to face a fifth one if it begins," Zarka said. "Just last week we were reminded of the risk with the arrival of a new variant. Part of our response to the pandemic is the vaccination of children," he said.
    Although the U.S. administration said they intend to offer the shots to young children within two weeks, Zarka said it will take Israel a bit longer.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    פרופ' סלמן זרקא
    פרופ' סלמן זרקא
    Coronavirus czar Salman Zarka
    (Photo: Barel Ephraim)
    "I estimate vaccine rollout for kids will be in the latter part of November," he said, adding the supply of vaccines was not a problem.
    "Young children are given a third of the dose administered to adults," he said. "Based on our earlier experience when kids aged 12 to 15 were offered the jabs, it is unlikely that we will see parents lining up in massive numbers with their kids," he said.
    "It will be a challenge to convince parents of the importance of vaccinating the children, but it is our duty make sure we have vaccines available if and when they are approved," the coronavirus czar said.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    חיסון ילדים התחסנות מתחסנים קורונה
    חיסון ילדים התחסנות מתחסנים קורונה
    A child receives a vaccine
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    "Half of all COVID infections currently confirmed are in schools," Zarka said. "The purpose of the vaccine is first of all to protect children. Although most will only suffer mild symptoms, we are aware of the health problems caused by long COVID illness and PIMS which is a serious illness that can develop in the wake of a coronavirus infection, he said.
    "The second aim of vaccinating the young children is to protect the older family members and benefit society in general," Zarka said.




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