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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Coronavirus: Are children actually getting vaccinated?

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Some four days since the beginning of the vaccination campaign for ages 12-15, about 10,000 children were expected to be inoculated by Wednesday night.

While the campaign is proceeding much slower than what happened in other age groups, with 2,000 to 3,000 adolescents jabbed every day, the Health Ministry is satisfied with the results and in no way concerned about soliciting families to get their children inoculated, Tomer Lotan, executive director at the National Coronavirus Task Force, said.

“Comparing this campaign with the previous ones is not the correct approach,” he said. “The number of cases now is so low that it is obvious that parents are not rushing to vaccinate their children.”

According to the latest data released by the ministry on Monday, only 186 active coronavirus cases remained in the country. At the peak of the pandemic in January, there were some 88,000 virus carriers.

“We also have to remember that we only recommended children with medical issues or who are planning to fly abroad to get inoculated,” Lotan noted. “It is perfectly okay for some families to wait. We are not worried.”

The Health Ministry’s official said that it is not planning to carry out a more aggressive campaign to increase the numbers.

“In addition, we need more time to understand the trends. For example, when schools are over, more families might be interested in getting their children inoculated in order to fly abroad,” he said.

At the moment, all those who enter the country and are not vaccinated or recovered have to enter quarantine for two weeks, which can be reduced to 10 days with two negative PCR tests.

“We believe that if cases were to start increasing again – which obviously we hope is not going to happen – more people are going to be interested in vaccinating their children,” Lotan said, adding that in such a situation, if needed, the ministry would also be ready to reevaluate and possibly change its approach.

In the meantime, those who wish to have more information about the vaccine for children are recommended to ask their family doctor or pediatrician. The Israel Pediatric Society, which has expressed its support for vaccinating 12-15 year-olds, has also put out some relevant material.

Some 600,000 children of the relevant age group live in Israel.

So far some 5.47 million Israelis have been vaccinated, or 55% of the population.

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