Israel is “very afraid” of the spread of Omicron among fragile populations, and of the damage that this variant could do.
“I gave the order to prepare immediately for the fourth vaccine”, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday. As the country struggles to contain the spread of the Omicron variant in its territory, he announced that all Israelis over the age of 60 and medical staff would be entitled to a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, after consultation with a group of experts.
Everything “is not yet recorded, it will be in a few days, maybe a few weeks,” said Cyrille Cohen, director of the immunotherapy laboratory at Bar-Ilan University, on our website. But faced with the Omicron variant, “it was decided to give this possibility to the most fragile people to protect themselves thanks to this potential fourth dose”.
A “minimal” decrease in immunity compared to that following the second dose
This fourth dose is launched in Israel because with Omicron, “we are very afraid that such a variant is unleashed in nursing homes, in the most vulnerable groups,” he declares.
The third dose, currently distributed in France, and in several countries of the world, would it therefore be ineffective after a few weeks?
“Any dose is limited in time”, emphasizes Cyrille Cohen.
With the third dose, the immune reduction “that we see today is about three, four months. [après l’injection, ndlr], but it’s really minimal compared to what we had seen for example with the second dose, “he says.
The campaign for the third dose “not finished”
Side third dose, the campaign is “not over, we still have a million Israelis” who have not received a booster dose, he explains, especially the population aged 12 to 40 years.
“But for people who are over the age of 50/60, we have 80/90% of the booster vaccine.”
Asked about repeated doses for the future, about the end of this pandemic, Cyrille Cohen replies that, according to him, the solution will come “as well with natural exposure, natural immunity and the protection of serious forms thanks to the vaccine , that’s what we think “.