Israel opened the third booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine to over 30s on Tuesday, as the country came close to an all-time high with close to 10,000 reported daily coronavirus infections.
The country also passed the grim milestone of more than 0ne million cases of COVID-19, of which more than 72,000 were active as of Tuesday morning. A total of 1,120 people are hospitalized, with more than 700 in serious condition.
Israel was the first country in the world to offer the third shot. Some 1.57 million Israelis, out of a total population of 9.3 million, have received the booster shot.
More than a million people eligible to receive the vaccine have not received any doses at all, Israel’s Health Ministry said this week. Almost 31 percent of unvaccinated are from Israel’s Arab population while 16 percent are ultra-Orthodox.
A report published by the ministry on Sunday showed the third Pfizer dose significantly improved protection from both infection and serious illness among individuals in their 60s and above compared with those who only received two shots.
The third shot offered five to six times greater protection, the findings showed.