Israel announced on Tuesday that it will offer a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to people older than 60, amid concern about the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
A Health Ministry expert panel recommended the fourth shot, a decision that was swiftly welcomed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett as “great news that will help us overcome the Omicron wave that is spreading around the world.”
Although the decision is pending formal approval by senior health officials, Bennett urged Israelis to get the dose as soon as possible, saying: “My message is – don’t waste time, go get vaccinated.” The decision follows the first known death in Israel of a patient with the Omicron variant. An Israeli hospital on Tuesday confirmed the death but said he had suffered from a number of serious pre-existing conditions.
The Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba said the man, in his 60s, died on Monday, two weeks after he was admitted to the coronavirus ward.