Israel Becomes First Country In The World To Offer Fourth Covid-19 Vaccine To Citizens
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Israel says it will be the first country in the world to begin offering a fourth coronavirus vaccine to its citizens.
The nation will begin rolling out the additional booster jab to people over the age of 60 in an effort to combat the Omicron variant.
The move comes after Israel announced its first death of a person who had contracted the new strain of Covid-19.
The male patient in his 60s spent two weeks in a hospital's coronavirus ward before he died.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett believes a fourth dose of an approved vaccine will ensure older citizens will be as protected as they can be.
"This is wonderful news that will assist us in getting through the Omicron wave that is engulfing the world.
"The State of Israel is continuing to stand at the forefront of the global effort to deal with the pandemic.
"The citizens of Israel were the first in the world to receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and we are continuing to pioneer with the fourth dose as well.
"I call on everyone who meets the criteria that the members of the committee have set: Go and get vaccinated. Take responsibility for the health and livelihoods of us all. The vaccines save lives."
Israel boasts a fully vaccinated rate of 63 per cent and 45 per cent of those people have received a booster shot so far.
While people over the age of 60 will be celebrating in Israel, the government's move might be against The World Health Organization's wishes.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said vaccine inequity is rife around the world and well-vaccinated countries should be offering their vials to nations that have low vaccination rates first.
The Organization says people in rich countries have received 50 times as many vaccine doses as those in poorer countries.
Only a little more than 10 per cent of people in Africa have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, compared to 64 per cent in North America and 62 per cent in Europe.
Dr Tedros said the only way to properly boot the pandemic is ensure everyone around the world has access to vaccines.
"None of us wants to be here again in 12 months' time talking about missed opportunities, continued inequity or new variants," he said.
"If we are to end the pandemic in the coming year, we must end inequity by ensuring 70 per cent of the population of every country is vaccinated by the middle of next year."