Vaccines for 12-15 year olds set to start in Israel on Sunday
Barring unforeseen developments over the next week, Israel’s health ministry has set a date to start immunizing all children ages 12 to 15 against the coronavirus. The ministry alerted healthcare providers that they were aiming to begin the vaccination effort for this age group on June 6 and that vaccinations would be available at HMOs as well as the schools themselves.
The vaccine is expected to be accepted by health ministry officials who have been tasked with assessing the risks for this age group in the coming days.
According to a report on the N12 news site, the vaccination effort will mostly take place in schools in order to generate interest in vaccines and create social pressure from peers to take the vaccine. However, parental authorization forms will still be required. The second dose of vaccine will be administered to HMOs. The ministry is still awaiting the findings of a committee tasked with investigating the link between vaccines in young adolescents and inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) in the same age group.
While the United States has previously vaccinated children between the ages of 12 and 15, Israel is waiting to receive more information regarding the 62 cases of children who suffered from myocarditis within 30 days of receiving the second vaccine. The majority of these cases have occurred in young people between the ages of 18 and 30.
Last week, it was first reported in Israeli media that there was no evidence of a link between the vaccine and those who suffered from myocarditis within a month of taking it. the research was conducted at a number of hospitals in Israel, including Tel Hashomer. Research has shown that the number of cases where myocarditis was found was very low compared to the number of people who received the vaccine, and even those who received it, the cases were very mild and if not there had not been an increased sensitivity to the tests. for illness after the vaccine, it is likely that most cases would never have been discovered because the symptoms were so mild.
The FDA has expanded the emergency permit it granted to the Pfizer vaccine, allowing it to be used on adolescents aged 12 to 15 more than three weeks ago. The European vaccine monitoring agency BioNTech also gave its approval last week.
(YWN Israel Office – Jerusalem)