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Israel to begin administering fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine

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By Euronews  with AP
A medical worker prepares a vial of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at Clalit Health Service's center in the Cinema City complex in Jerusalem, September 2021.
A medical worker prepares a vial of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at Clalit Health Service's center in the Cinema City complex in Jerusalem, September 2021.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo

Israel will begin preparing to administer a fourth COVID-19 vaccine to protect people as the highly transmissible omicron variant continues to spread.

The move was recommended by a government advisory panel of health experts.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett praised Tuesday’s decision and said he had already instructed health officials to begin preparations.

People who are over the age of 60 and health care workers will be the first eligible to get the fourth jab but the campaign could quickly include other segments of the population.

Bennett’s office said the campaign, which still requires bureaucratic approvals, is expected to begin in the coming days.

Israel was one of the first countries to vaccinate its population early this year and then carried out the world’s first booster campaign over the summer.

Around 63% of the country's population is fully vaccinated and 45% have received a booster shot, according to official figures.