Israel's health minister announced Sunday that adults with compromised immune systems who had already received two doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine could receive a booster shot, Reuters reported.
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said the decision was effective immediately.
Israel had seen daily rates of new coronavirus infections in the single digits in June, but cases have trended upward over the past month. The country reported a high of 528 cases new cases on July 6, the highest since late March, according to data from the World Health Organization.
According to health authorities, about half of the 46 patients hospitalized and in severe condition with coronavirus have been vaccinated, Reuters reported.
The move comes as the delta variant of coronavirus, which is thought to be more transmissible, spreads across Israel and a number of other countries, including the U.S.
Pfizer and BioTech said on Thursday they were planning to seek authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The companies said in their statement that an ongoing trial of the booster shot was showing "encouraging data." The companies said that when the dose is administered six months after the second dose, it provided levels of neutralizing antibodies five to 10 times higher.
Anthony FauciAnthony FauciTrump on what would prevent 2024 bid: 'I guess a bad call from a doctor' Overnight Health Care — Presented by Indivior — CDC panel approves boosters for some, but not based on jobs Fauci: 'Worst time' for a government shutdown is in middle of pandemic MORE, the governments top infectious diseases specialist, said Sunday that based on current data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA, there’s no need for Americans to get a booster shot.
“What the CDC and the FDA were saying, Jake, is that right now, given the data and the information we have, we do not need to give people a third shot, a boost superimposed upon the two doses you get with the mRNA and the one dose you get with [Johnson & Johnson],” Fauci told CNN host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperFrederica Wilson rails against Haitian deportation flights, calls treatment 'inhumane' WHIP LIST: How House Democrats say they'll vote on infrastructure bill Yarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package may be slimmed MORE during “State of the Union.”
Fauci cautioned though that that guidance could change.
“But that doesn't mean we stop. ... I mean, there are studies being done now, ongoing as we speak, about looking at the feasibility about if and when we should be boosting people. So this isn't something that we say, ‘No, we don't need a boost right now. The story's ended forever,’” Fauci said.