Israel begins offering fourth Covid jab to all risk groups
A Palestinian cross-border worker receives his dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre. Israel is ramping up its campaign to give people a fourth vaccination against the coronavirus, after the Health Ministry announced that the jab would be made available to more groups. Ilia Yefimovich/dpa
A Palestinian cross-border worker receives his dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre. Israel is ramping up its campaign to give people a fourth vaccination against the coronavirus, after the Health Ministry announced that the jab would be made available to more groups. Ilia Yefimovich/dpa

Israel is ramping up its campaign to give people a fourth vaccination against the coronavirus, after the Health Ministry announced that the jab would be made available to more groups.

People at risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19, as well as their caregivers, are eligible, as are adults who are at particular risk of infection at their place of work, the ministry said late on Wednesday.

The expansion of the nation's fourth jab campaign follows a decision by Nachman Ash, the ministry's director general. In order to get a fourth shot, the third must have taken place at least four months ago.

Ash was only partially following a recommendation by an expert panel working for his ministry.

On Tuesday, the panel had recommended a fourth vaccination for everyone aged 18 and older - starting five months after the third vaccination.

In Israel, more than 610,000 people have already received a fourth dose. Until now, the recommendation has only applied to: people aged 60 and up; the immunocompromised; and medical staff.

The decision was based on positive data seen in people aged 60 and older. The ministry said protection against infection has been shown to be twice as good as after the third vaccination. The protection against severe disease is even said to be three to five times as high.