New normal: Israel's health expert says fourth shot of Covid vaccine needed

WION Web Team
Tel Aviv, Israel Published: Sep 05, 2021, 05:53 PM(IST)

A health worker gives the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to a person in San Diego Photograph:( AFP )

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Israel's Salman Zarka said that as more variants are being identified and Delta variant is spreading at an alarming speed, cases, hospitalisation and Covid-related deaths are expected to rise

Israel has been at the top of the game since the coronavirus pandemic began. The country has taken every possible step and has been applauded for being able to keep Covid under control.

While the world struggles to complete two doses of vaccination for all eligible students, Israel’s coronavirus czar, Salman Zarka, has hinted towards a fourth dose of Covid vaccine.

Israel has started administering booster shot of coronavirus to all citizens. The decision was taken even though the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged countries not to start the booster programme till all other nations have been able to vaccinate at least the vulnerable people.

However, this may not be the end of the vaccines, Zarka claims. He said that as more variants are being identified and Delta variant is spreading at an alarming speed, cases, hospitalisation and Covid-related deaths are expected to rise.

Considering that, Zarka claims that a fourth shot of the Covid vaccine will be needed after some time. "Given that the virus is here and is here to stay, we must also ready ourselves for the fourth jab," he said in an interview with a local media house. "This is our life from now on, in waves."

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Zarka believes these booster shots which will be able to protect people against the new variants will be available by late 2021 or by early 2022.

He has also warned against another incoming wave. "It seems that if we learn the lessons from the fourth wave, we must consider the [possibility of subsequent] waves with the new variants, such as the new one from South America," he told a local media house. "And thinking about this and the waning of the vaccines and the antibodies, it seems every few months — it could be once a year or five or six months — we’ll need another shot."

Health officials have, even in the past, said that in future booster shots will be needed at least after six months or in a year.

Israel has managed to vaccinate more than 2.5 million locals, and more are being vaccinated. Booster shots are also being administered to all eligible population, as the country fights against a surge caused by Delta variant.

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