Israel has started trials of a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose Monday at a medical center in Tel Aviv, The Associated Press reports

The country’s trial of a fourth dose booster shot of a coronavirus vaccine is believed to the first of its kind worldwide, the AP notes.

The trial is being conducted with 150 medical workers who received a third dose booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in August at the Sheba Medical Center.

Gili Regev-Yochay, the director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit at Sheba, said the study will assess the antibody boost from a fourth shot and monitor any potential adverse reactions, and if the second boost reduces the risk of infection from omicron, according to CBS News. 

The participants will be monitored for six months after receiving their fourth dose.

Israel is one of the world’s leaders in the administration of booster shots. More than 4.2 million of the country’s 9.3 million population have gotten a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, reports the AP. 

As the trials on a fourth shot begin, Israel is already set to offer a second booster shot to citizens who are over the age of 60, anyone with a compromised immune system and health care workers. Those people will be eligible for a fourth dose four months after receiving a third shot. 

The decision is awaiting approval by the country’s Health Ministry Director Nachman Ash before it is officially recognized as national policy and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has praised the recommendation, hoping it will help offset the impact of omicron, reports CBS.

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

Tags BioNTech BioNTech Booster dose Clinical trials COVID-19 vaccine Israel Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett Jersualem Pfizer Pfizer Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant Tel Aviv

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