Currently, most Israeli children have not gotten a coronavirus immunization.

According to a letter to health care professionals released Tuesday, the Health Ministry recommends a third dosage of the coronavirus vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 three or more months after the second injection or after they have recovered from the illness.

Children ages 5 to 11 should be given a booster dose of the new coronavirus vaccine, according to the letter. 10 micrograms are given to children under 12 years old, compared to 30 micrograms for individuals 12 and over.

There will be just a limited percentage (5–11 years old) who can receive a second shot due to a low vaccination rate (76 percent remain currently unvaccinated). In the previous three months, many vaccinated people have received a second dose.

In Israel, the immunization rate for children aged 5-11 is significantly lower than that for those aged 12-15. (42 percent unvaccinated). 22% of 16-19-year-olds had not been vaccinated.

Failure of the Health Ministry’s vaccination program, the end of the fifth wave of the virus, and public mistrust of the need to vaccinate children are all factors that have contributed to a low vaccination rate for children ages 5 to 11.

The directives from the Health Ministry’s advisory panel, which met last week, were the basis for the latest measures. After other health organizations, including the CDC, adopted the policy of vaccinating children with a third dose, the guidelines were announced. Prior to today’s meeting, the committee had resisted the idea of recommending a third dose for children.

Dr. Yasmin Maor, director of the infectious diseases unit at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon and a committee member, told Haaretz last week that nearly the whole committee agrees basic vaccination should comprise three doses, not two.

“As a result, parents who desire to vaccinate their children won’t have to do so in enormous numbers. There may be some minor infections, but the vaccine is safe and long-term Covid and post-Covid complications can be avoided”

Prof. Zachi Grossman, head of the Israel Pediatric Association, endorsed the decision. “Even if we didn’t have a campaign, everyone who wanted to get vaccinated should be able to. Moreover, it’s encouraged. The immunization is required in two doses for both adults and children, in addition to a booster shot.” 

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