Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett welcomed the announcement yesterday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given approval for the Pfizer vaccine, which will be marketed under the name, Comirnaty.
"This is an important step that proves we were right: To be ahead of the world and be global pioneers regarding the third dose of the vaccine," Bennett said.
However, the FDA approval does not extend to the third dose. The FDA changed the status for the two-dose shot from emergency use to regular use for ages 16 and up. The use for children 12 to 15 and a booster "in certain immunocompromised individuals" remains under emergency use authorization.
As of this morning, Israel is administering a third shot to anyone from the age of 30, who received their first two shots at least five months prior.
Last year, then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brokered a contract with Pfizer allowing Israel to obtain large quantities of the vaccines in exchange for sharing its citizens' medical files with the pharmaceutical giant. Since then, Israel has inoculated nearly 6 million of its 9.3 million population and is considered one of the world's most highly vaccinated nations.
"Israel is leading in the global fight against the coronavirus even as we safeguard the health of the citizens of Israel and their livelihoods at any price, despite the pressures to lock down the country," Bennett continued. "Later today I will leave for the U.S., which approved the third dose of the vaccine after us. It was slightly easier for the Americans to do this since we were already on the right track, following the complicated – but effective – decisions that we made."
Israel is currently in its fourth wave of COVID and has recorded some of its highest daily infection rates since February.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.