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Israel's vaccine committee recommends COVID shot for children from 6 months old

Recommendation must be approved by health ministry director and patients must get approval from an exceptions committee to get the jab

Children aged 5-11 receive their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Jerusalem, Nov. 25, 2021. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

An Israeli vaccine committee has recommended vaccinating babies and toddlers even before Pfizer has requested Emergency Use Authorization of its product from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to a report by Channel 12.

This would make Israel the first country in the world to vaccinate children at this age.

A majority of members on the Advisory Committee for Vaccines voted in favor of vaccinating children in that age group if they receive approval from the Exceptions Committee in their HMOs, according to the report.

The recommendation came last night after the committee discussed several issues including recommending that children ages 5 to 11 who recovered from COVID get vaccinated three months after recovery. They delayed a vote on whether to offer a fourth injection for immunocompromised individuals who did not develop antibodies after three shots.

Until the 5- to 11-year-old age bracket, Israel had led the way in rolling out the COVID vaccine for every demographic from shots for pregnant women and boosters for all age groups. With young children, Israel took a cautious approach before rendering a decision for this age bracket and only began vaccinating after the United States did first.

Israel has also been proactive in offering exceptions for people in demographics not already approved. For instance, some 700 children ages 12 to 15 received their shots before Israel officially opened up the vaccine to that group. Also, 163 Israeli children ages 5 to 11 were fully vaccinated before that campaign was made official.

These latest recommendations must be approved by Nachman Ash, director general of the Ministry of Health, in order to go into effect.

Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS

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