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Israel allows those with weakened immune systems to get a third Pfizer shot

The Israeli Ministry of Health issued Monday guidelines to allow people with compromised immune systems to receive a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccination. They cited the increasing infection rate and growing evidence that these people don’t develop enough antibodies after receiving two doses.

The ministry published a list of people who are eligible for a third shot. Prioritization was given to heart, lung, and kidney transplant recipients, followed by those with weak immune systems, including patients with cancer.

The third Pfizer shot was administered Monday afternoon by Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv to heart transplant recipients. This came just an hour after the Ministry of Health gave its green light.

Galia Rahav (head of the Infectious Disease Unit and Laboratories at Sheba Medical Center) stated in a video that “it’s really urgent to make it happen now” citing the rise in the delta variant. For research purposes, the hospital stated that it would test and track the recipients of the third shot.

Israel was the first country to implement a rapid vaccination campaign. Today, 57% of Israel’s population is fully vaccinated. The highly contagious Delta variant of influenza has caused an increase in daily infections. They have gone from single-digits a month back to 452 cases per days on average. According to data from the Israeli Ministry of Health, 58% of the 81 COVID-19 Israeli patients are currently vaccinated. Research suggests that vaccines are still effective against the delta variant.

Since April, French health care providers have given a third dose to patients with certain immune conditions.

One team of French researchers reported that organ transplant recipients with antibodies rose to 68% after four weeks, from 40% after the first dose. This approach has not been tested in the United States by vaccine manufacturers or federal agencies.

Also Read: Immunised but banned: EU says not all Covid vaccines equal

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