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August 2, 2021 11:05 am
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High Demand for Third Vaccine Dose in Israel

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Holocaust survivor Yehuda Widawski, 102, receives his third dose of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital) in Tel Aviv, Israel August 1, 2021. REUTERS/Nir Elias

i24 News – Israel’s health maintenance organizations reported high demand Sunday for the COVID-19 booster shot on the first day of the campaign to get the third vaccine dose into the arms of 1.5 million eligible adults over the age of 60 in just eight days.

Despite the strong start to the vaccination drive, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday evening pushed the country’s four health funds to step up their efforts.

“The situation is good, but we have to pick up the pace,” Bennett told the heads of Maccabi, Meuhedet, Leumit and Clalit. “Our daily rate needs to be five times what it is now.”

Added Bennett: “Our goal is to vaccinate everyone by the end of the month. It’s ambitious, but it’s possible.”

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The heads of the HMOs told Bennett that there is a high level of demand to the point of phones crashing because so many eligible adults over 60 were calling to schedule appointments.

In order to get the booster, the second vaccine must have been administered more than five months ago.

According to Clalit, the country’s largest HMO, 17,000 eligible Israelis have already received a third dose and 110,000 have made an appointment for the coming days.

Israel is the first country to offer a third vaccine dose on a wide scale following its earlier campaign to give the booster shot to severely immunocompromised adults.

Britain will offer COVID-19 booster vaccines to 32 million Britons starting early next month, The Telegraph reported.

United States and European regulators have yet to approve a third vaccine dose.

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