Israel is expected to begin offering a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose to contain the Omicron variant, despite debate among scientists and a lack of evidence either for or against another booster.
A Health Ministry expert panel last week recommended that Israel become the first country to offer a fourth vaccine dose to those aged over 60, those suffering from compromised immune systems, and medical workers. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has made it clear he supports a fourth shot.
However, some scientists advising the Israeli government on the pandemic warned that the plan could backfire, because too many shots might cause a sort of immune system fatigue, compromising the body’s ability to fight COVID-19. Multiple members of the government’s advisory panel raised that concern with respect to the elderly, according to a written summary of the discussion obtained by The New York Times.
An Israeli hospital launched the first major study on Monday (Dec. 28) into whether a second round of boosters will help contend with the fast-spreading Omicron variant.