Israel started vaccinating children ages 5-11 on Tuesday after competent health officials approved the move earlier this month.
According to The Associated Press, officials are looking at the introduction of Pfizer BioNTech syringes to young children as a way to reduce the number of cases in the country and prevent another wave of infections from developing.
Almost half of active COVID-19 cases in Israel can be traced back to children ages 5-11, according to Ministry of Health statistics cited by the AP.
Demand for the vaccine among the young age group was low on the first day it was available, the AP reported, citing Israeli media.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Twitter that he had taken his nine-year-old son David to be vaccinated.
“Today we are starting the nationwide campaign to vaccinate children, especially to protect our children. David just got vaccinated. This protects both children and parents and the entire State of Israel, ”the Prime Minister wrote on Twitter, according to The Times of Israel.
“It works, it is safe and I urge all Israeli parents to have their children vaccinated,” he added.
את דוד שלי להתחסן והוא היה (בין היתר כי הבטחתי לו גלידה).
הורים יקרים – צאו לחסן את הילדים. כל מי שעבר את גיל חמש כבר יכול.
בטוח, שומר עליהם, וגם עלינו. pic.twitter.com/QN2E8AWQbp
– Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) November 23, 2021
The Israeli Ministry of Health announced in a statement on Monday that appointments were available to vaccinate children against the virus.
The Israeli Pediatric Association recommended the syringe after it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Israel’s Ministry of Health. The vaccine has shown 91 percent effectiveness in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 disease in children and has been shown to be safe in clinical trials.
The ministry said it is encouraging young children to get the vaccination, considering the increased rates of infection in the age group.
“More than 3 million children have been vaccinated in the United States and now we can protect them in Israel and save them from contracting coronavirus, a potentially serious disease for children,” the ministry said in a statement.
“With infection rates rising in the younger age groups, the Department of Health encourages people to consult their pediatrician, make decisions based on facts and data, schedule an appointment at their HMOs, vaccinate and protect and prevent their children from the next Wave of infection, “added the ministry.
The US started vaccinating children ages 5 to 11 earlier this month, according to CDC director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyWatch Live: White House COVID-19 Response Team Holds Press Conference Gottlieb says he expects the CDC to be viewed “fully vaccinated” as COVID-19 cases are on the way with Thanksgiving gatherings increase MORE deregistered the Pfizer BioNTech shot for the age group.
The White House said approximately 10 percent of children ages 5 to 11 in the United States will be at least partially vaccinated within two weeks of vaccination availability for the age group.