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Associated Press

Israel Begins Vaccinating Children Ages 5-11

11-22-2021
A girl receives the coronavirus vaccine at Clalit Health services in Holon, Israel, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021. Israel has approved the coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5 to 11. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)
A girl receives the coronavirus vaccine at Clalit Health services in Holon, Israel, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021. Israel has approved the coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5 to 11. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)

Israel on Monday started vaccinating children of health workers who are aged 5 to 11-years-old against COVID-19.

The move comes ahead of a wider vaccination campaign on Tuesday.

The Health Ministry's decision last week follows approval by U.S. health authorities earlier this month to OK the vaccine for the same age group.

Israel was one of the first countries in the world to carry out a broad vaccination campaign in its adult and adolescent population early this year, and it became the first country to carry out a widespread booster campaign over the summer.

Experts say Israel's aggressive vaccination efforts have helped curb the spread of the coronavirus and has brought a recent wave of the delta variant under control.

But it has seen the coronavirus continue to spread among the unvaccinated, including children.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said its director general, Dr. Nachman Ash, accepted a recommendation from expert advisers to inoculate children with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

It said a majority of advisers believed the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks.

Earlier on Monday, hundreds of anti-vaccination protesters demonstrated in Jerusalem.

Last month, Israel restricted its COVID Green Pass to allow only those who have received a vaccine booster dose or recently recuperated from coronavirus to enter indoor venues.

The new criteria meant that nearly 2 million people lost their vaccination passport.

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