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MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images
An Israeli health worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at the Clalit Health Service in Jerusalem on August 1, 2021, as Israel launches its campaign to give booster shots to people aged over 60.

Israel will offer a second COVID-19 vaccine booster shot to people over the age of 60, those with compromised immune systems and health care workers in order to mitigate the spread and risk of the omicron variant, according to multiple reports. 

Those in the listed categories are eligible for their fourth dose four months after they have received their third shot, NBC News reports

Israel is the first country believed to be broadly administering a second round of booster doses, according to The New York Times, which added that nations around the world will likely look to Israel for indications regarding how a fourth shot would fare among their own citizens.

A health ministry expert panel in Israel is still researching the impacts and efficacy a fourth vaccine dose may have against the omicron variant, NBC reported. 

“We are seeing a waning of protection against omicron infection. More than 80 percent of the panel supported this measure,” a doctor on the panel said, the network added.

At least one person in Israel has died from the omicron variant, the Times noted. The man was older and had received the initial two doses of his COVID-19 vaccine, but had not been boosted. 

In the U.S., one omicron death in the state of Texas was reported Monday in an unvaccinated man.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allowed for adults with compromised immune systems to receive a fourth dose booster shot of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in October.  

Israel had a rapid vaccine rollout initially last year, and in August, it was one of the first nations in the world to broadly administer a third shot as a booster to its population, including anyone over the age of 12 years old. 

Tags BioNTech Booster dose COVID-19 vaccine Israel Israel Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett Jersualem Moderna Pfizer SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant

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