Israel begins trials of fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose

[anvplayer video=”5080212″ station=”998130″]

Israel began trials of a fourth dose of coronavirus vaccine on Monday in what is believed to be the first study of its kind.

The trial began at Sheba Medical Center, outside Tel Aviv, with 150 medical personnel who received a booster dose in August receiving a fourth shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The staff receiving the additional dose were tested and found to have low antibody levels.

The trial came as Israeli officials have considered rolling out a second tranche of booster shots to its population as the country has grappled with rising infections with the new omicron variant.

Israel rolled out a world-leading vaccination campaign early this year.

Just over 4.2 million of Israel’s 9.3 million people have received a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Israel has recorded at least 8,242 deaths from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Health Ministry says it will allow people with two doses of the coronavirus vaccine to get a booster shot after three months, rather than the five-month waiting period it previously allowed.

The government said in a statement Monday that it shortened the timeframe to boost immunity as the swiftly-moving omicron variant spreads around the globe.

The new rule would apply to vaccines made by Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.