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Israeli panel recommends expanding third shot to ages 40+, pregnant women, healthcare workers and teachers

More than 1.2 million Israelis ages 50 and up have already received their third shot, causing some politicians to recommend invalidating green passports for anyone who is eligible to receive a third shot but has not yet done so

An Israeli women receives a third dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, Aug. 16, 2021. (Photo: Michael Giladi/Flash90)

An expert panel has recommended that Israel extend a third COVID shot to all Israelis ages 40 and up.

"The vast majority of the participants in the discussion recommended expanding the third vaccine gradually and at this stage they will be entitled to be vaccinated in the third dose for those aged 40 and over," the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

In addition, the panel pregnant women, teaching staff, healthcare workers, patients and caregivers in health and welfare institutions, people with disabilities and their caregivers, caregivers of the elderly, prisoners and wardens and risk groups such as diabetes and obesity should also get the shot.

The recommendation was widely expected. Yesterday in a news conference, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the third dose was crucial in avoiding a lockdown and beating "the Delta strain."

"We are global pioneers in third doses of the vaccine. Not more than an hour ago, the U.S. announced that by late September, it will put at the disposal of its citizens the third doses of the vaccine, the boosters, and more countries will yet follow in its footsteps," he said.

"The decision was not simple but we knew the correct way to fight the coronavirus; the citizens of Israel have been benefiting from the third dose of the vaccine since the end of last month. At the moment, we are still the only ones in the entire world who are providing a third dose."

The vaccinations of these new groups will begin tomorrow. More than 1.2 million Israelis ages 50 and up have already received their third shot, causing some politicians to recommend invalidating green passports for anyone who is eligible to receive a third shot but has not yet done so.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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