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Israel has begun offering COVID-19 vaccine boosters shots fully vaccinated citizens 12 years and older within a five month timespan, Reuters reported.

Israel health officials said that they implemented the need for the booster shot due to the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine losing its effectiveness, according to Reuters.

The head of public health for Israel’s Health Ministry Sharon Alroy-Preis said in a news conference that the booster shot would bring an increased level of protection on top of a second dose, Reuters reported. 

“That means, people are 10 times more protected after the third vaccine dose,” Alroy-Preis said. 

In a statement on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that it is important for Israeli citizens who are 12 years and older to get their booster shot, adding that it was slowing the levels of severe illness and death.

“But we have to complete third doses for all of our citizens. I call on those aged 12 and up to go out and immediately take the third shot,” Bennett said. 

Two million out of the country’s 9.3 million citizens has received three doses of the vaccine, Reuters noted.

Tags booster shot Israel Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett

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