Israel launches vaccination campaign for people over 60 amid increasing COVID-19 morbidity

The Israeli Ministry of Health on Thursday announced a COVID-19 vaccination campaign for people aged 60 and over, citing a recent surge of morbidity nationwide fueled by the BA.2 Omicron subvariant.

The operation, to start on Sunday, will be carried out by the ministry, Health Maintenance Organization(HMO) clinics, and Israel’s Defense Forces’ home front command across the country, the ministry said in a statement.

HMOs will directly contact 212,000 people over the age of 60 who are eligible for a third dose but yet to get one, and the ministry will also encourage 450,000 eligible people aged 60 and over to take the fourth-dose jab.

Meanwhile, the ministry reported 13,603 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the national total to 3,818,065 as of Thursday.

Israel’s COVID-19 reproduction number indicator, also known as the R number, has increased from 1.39 to 1.42.

When the R number is greater than one, the number of patients increases at an exponential rate and multiplies from time to time. ■

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