Health Ministry officials said on Wednesday that despite a resurgence in COVID-19 morbidity throughout Israel, a fifth vaccine dose was still unnecessary.
At the end of Wednesday's meeting, epidemiologists concluded that a new vaccination campaign is currently off the table.
Ministry officials said more deliberations on the matter were needed contingent on the trajectory of the disease, but they were focusing on getting the fourth vaccine dose to those who have yet to receive it.
However, experts recommended reinstating a mask mandate indoors and in large gatherings in light of the recent uptick in coronavirus cases.
Furthermore, the ministry said that the standard COVID-19 vaccination regimen, which includes two vaccine doses and a booster shot, will become compulsory for all health care workers in Israel, pending the approval of Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash.
Meanwhile, coronavirus czar Salman Zarka said on Wednesday the coronavirus R number — which indicates how many people on average a single COVID patient infects — was unstable and stood at 1.19.
"The reproduction number relies on the number of people who perform COVID-19 tests, so I can't tell if the data indicates the beginning of a new coronavirus wave. We are seeing persistent morbidity with occasional ebbs and flows.
I recommend the public, and especially the at-risk population, keep wearing masks, most definitely indoors, and get tested if exposed to a patient. A testing recommendation is necessary to the entire population, and if anyone turns out positive for COVID, they must stay at home and avoid close contact with the at-risk population."
Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett convened with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and senior health officials to discuss potential measures to curb rising cases but agreed none were necessary for the time being.
During the meeting, Horowitz said that the Health Ministry anticipated the current uptick in cases.
"Even when it's not making headlines, we keep following and examining the data and monitoring morbidity. We are currently living alongside COVID, therefore, we must continue to monitor it at all times."