Israel’s Ministry of Health announced Wednesday that it will expand the coronavirus vaccination campaign to all those over 16 years of age starting Thursday, as part of rapid progress in the inoculation of the drug in the country.
Until now, vaccination was focused on at-risk groups and people over the age of 60, but was later extended to those over the age of 35. From now on, all Israelis over the age of 16 will receive the vaccine, a process from which minors have been excluded while research into the safety of the vaccines continues.
The Ministry has detailed that 3,236,859 people have already received the first dose of the vaccine, including 1,855,071 who have also been inoculated with the second dose, which is about a third of the population, as reported by the newspaper ‘The Times of Israel’.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said recently that the authorities’ goal is to vaccinate 90 percent of those over 50 in the next two weeks, while the government will meet on Thursday to discuss a possible extension of the confinement.
Health officials have come out in favor of extending the restrictions, on the grounds that the four weeks of confinement and advances in vaccination have very slightly lowered the infection rate in the country.
Israel has so far confirmed 664,651 cases of coronavirus, with 4,890 deaths, since the start of the pandemic. There are currently 73,700 active cases, including 1,108 people in critical condition due to COVID-19.