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Fourth Vaccine Dose
In light of the spread of the Omicron variant that has led to the current infection wave, and that studies show that also led to the decline in protection against the virus also among fully vaccinated individuals compared to previous variants, the Ministry of Health's Director General has accepted the experts' recommendation to administer the fourth dose for those at highest risk for severe illness and death.
These populations include immunosuppressed patients, among whom decreased immune response to the previous doses has been observed, whether because of their pre-existing conditions or the medications that they receive. This resolution also includes older adults who reside in geriatric hospitals and in social services settings, among whom immune response is weaker due to their age.
Furthermore, it was resolved to allow for the fourth vaccination of those aged 60 and older, healthcare workers and workers of health and social services facilities.
Who will receive the fourth vaccine?
Immunosuppressed individuals who will receive the fourth dose include recipients of organ transplants, patients suffering from hemato-oncologic diseases and other malignant diseases, dialysis patients, patients suffering from rheumatologic or auto-immune disease, sclerosis multiple patients and others.
The vaccine will be administered to individuals aged 18 and older.
Immunosuppressed individuals included on this list will be eligible for vaccination with the fourth dose even if they have recovered from COVID-19.
To the full list of cases in which vaccination with the fourth dose has been recommended
Nursing facilities covered in "Magen Avot veImahot" project
Patients in all geriatric health and social services facilities covered in "Magen Avot veImahot" project, including geriatric hospitals, assisted living facilities and mental health housing projects and hostels, will be eligible for vaccination with the fourth dose.
Staff working in those facilities will also be eligible for vaccination with the fourth vaccine, should they wish to do so.
Those aged 60 and older
Due to increased infection rates and the concerns raised for the health of those aged 60 and older, it was resolved to allow them to receive the fourth vaccine.
In light of the need to protect healthcare workers as those standing at the front line of the war on COVID-19, they will be eligible for a fourth vaccination.
When is the fourth dose administered?
The fourth dose is administered at least 4 months from the date of the third dose.
The type of vaccine administered in the fourth vaccination
It is preferable to administer a fourth dose of a mRNA-based vaccine (namely, the vaccines by Pfizer or Moderna), preferably a vaccine from the same Manufacturer of the first three doses. However, the fourth vaccine dose can also be administered with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The fourth vaccine will be administered at the similar dosage as the third vaccine, save for the Moderna vaccine that will be administered at half the dosage (similar to the third dose by Moderna, subject to the Manufacturer's indications).