Israel tests 4th dose of COVID-19 vaccine

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel began testing a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in what is believed to be the first study of its kind.

The trial began at Sheba Medical Center, located on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, with 150 medical staff who received a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, after receiving the booster dose in August. Personnel who received the additional dose were tested and found to have low antibody levels.

Meanwhile, Israeli authorities have considered distributing a second round of booster doses to its population as the country grapples with a spike in cases caused by the new omicron variant.

Professor Jacob Lavee, former director of the heart transplant unit at Sheba, said “I hope we can show here … that this fourth dose really does provide protection against omicron, something that is sorely needed.”

Israel carried out one of the best vaccination campaigns in the world earlier this year. Just over 4.2 million of the 9.3 million Israelis have received a third dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.

Israel has recorded at least 8,242 deaths from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

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