A senior Israeli health official said on Wednesday that following a surge of virus cases among children, vaccinating them must be a priority in order to reach herd immunity, Ynet reported.
Health officials say that the highly infectious British and South African variants are behind the increased morbidity rate in children and teenagers. Furthermore, although most children are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms, there has been a rise in young seriously ill patients.
The rapid spread of the new variants among children is a worldwide phenomenon. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that new variants “spread faster among children rather than the elderly.”
“We noticed increased infection among children,” said Dr. David Greenberg, head of the pediatric unit at Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva and member of the Health Ministry’s vaccinations committee and infectious disease department.
“The new variants spread deeper into the population. Until children are vaccinated, we will not reach herd immunity, it’s a consensus in the [medical] field.”
Two of Israel’s Kupot Cholim, Meuchedet and Clalit, announced on Wednesday that anyone 35 or older can now be vaccinated.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)