Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that an Israeli study indicated that the fourth coronavirus vaccine was “safe” and that antibodies had increased “fivefold” as the country expanded its inoculation campaign amid growing infections.
Speaking during a visit to Sheba Hospital near Tel Aviv, which gave a fourth vaccination to its 154 staff a week earlier as part of a study, the Israeli prime minister said the extra shots “worked”.
“One week after the fourth dose, we know with a high degree of certainty that the fourth dose is safe,” he told Professor Galia Rahav, head of Sheba’s Infectious Diseases Unit and leader of the study.
“One week after the fourth dose, we see a fivefold increase in the number of antibodies in the vaccinated person,” Bennett added.
“This probably means a significant increase in protection against infection and against serious hospitalization and symptoms,” he said, adding that the facility would soon be able to publish its results.
Sheba Hospital spokesman Steve Wallace said the study used Pfizer Jab, adding that a separate trial of the fourth vaccine shots for 150 people using the modern vaccine would begin this week.
On Friday, Israel began giving a fourth jab to people with weakened immune systems. On Monday, it spread it to health workers and people over the age of 60, making it one of the first countries to do so.
The move comes a year after it launched a massive vaccination campaign behind a data-sharing deal with US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer.
On Tuesday, the health ministry reported more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases for the previous day, down from a daily average of 4,000 the previous week.
More than four million people in Israel’s population of 9.4 million have received three shots of the coronavirus vaccine.
The country has officially recorded more than 1.4 million cases of Kovid-19 infection, including 8,247 deaths.
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