Israel began vaccinating children aged 5-11 against COVID-19. The action began in Tel Aviv at the Meuhedet Healthcare clinic, where a group of several hundred parents lined up with their children to receive the preparation on Monday evening. A nationwide vaccination campaign starts on Tuesday.
Israel is the second country in the world after the US to begin vaccinating children aged 5-11 against COVID-19 on Monday. A vaccine from Pfizer / BioNtech is used, which assures that it has shown 90.7 percent. efficacy against disease in a clinical trial involving children in this age range.
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As Reuters points out, Israel decided to vaccinate children because in the last two weeks, the “R”, the reproduction rate of the virus that had remained below one for two months in this country, has started to increase and has now exceeded this threshold, indicating that the virus can spread exponentially again.
The fact that half of the confirmed infections now occur among children 11 years of age and younger also spoke in favor of vaccination in this age group. Israel’s Ministry of Health estimates that one child in 3,500 infected with the coronavirus is likely to develop multiple systemic inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), which may involve the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, and gastrointestinal organs. Most children suffering from these conditions require intensive care, and 1-2 percent. dies.
A study by the Ministry of Health of over 13,000 children found that around 11% suffered from persistent symptoms, and approximately 1.8 to 4.6 percent, depending on age, still have symptoms six months after becoming ill.
Israelis vaccinate children aged 5-11
The vaccination campaign for children began in Tel Aviv at the Meuhedet Healthcare clinic, where a group of several hundred parents lined up with their children to receive the preparation. The nationwide vaccination campaign is set to start on Tuesday.
In total, local authorities informed that several hundred children were vaccinated on Monday, while on Tuesday the preparation was reserved for 24,000 children, i.e. about 2.5 percent. qualifying in this age group.
According to Salman Zarki, who is responsible for coordinating vaccination preparations in this age group, “the disease is mild in children, but there are cases in which the disease may persist with long-term symptoms such as insomnia and muscle aches.” 3 million children and we see the effective results – added Zarka.
– Children go to school, mingle with other children and have a lot of social activities. We are very excited to get them vaccinated and return to normal life, says Kat Bai Shalom, whose son and daughter have already been vaccinated.
– It’s normal that you hesitate to vaccinate your child, it is not an easy decision, but after reading the data and reading about the millions of children vaccinated in the United States, we made the decision to vaccinate our children – said Heli Nave, another mother. who came to be vaccinated with her baby.
Israelis divided over childhood immunization
There are 1.2 million children between the ages of 5 and 11 in Israel. The latest public opinion poll on the matter indicated that 41 percent. parents of children under the age of 12 are determined to give their child the vaccine, 38 percent opposed, 21 percent. is undecided.
Since the start of the pandemic, Israel has seen 1.3 million infections and more than 8,000 deaths. According to the Ministry of Health, about 57 percent. Israel’s population is fully vaccinated, meaning that part of the population has received a third dose of the vaccine, or five months have not passed since receiving the second dose.
Main photo source: Reuters