Health Ministry: Recovered COVID patients should get single vaccine shot

The Health Ministry on Saturday recommended that people who have recovered from COVID-19 receive a single vaccine dose, instead of the two shots administered to those not previously infected.

The decision was made by the Health Ministry’s Priority Committee that advises on vaccination guidelines.

The committee further recommended that the single dose be administered at least three months after recovering from the virus, Channel 12 reported on Saturday.

Around 400,000 Israelis currently fall into that category.

An Israeli receives a COVID-19 vaccine injection and a free drunk at an event organized by the Tel Aviv municipality to encourage people to get vaccinated, at a bar in Tel Aviv, onFebruary 18, 2021. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

It was not immediately clear when health providers would offer the vaccines to those who recovered from the virus. Former COVID patients have not previously been eligible to get the shot.

There have been 744,513 confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel since the start of the pandemic. Over 5,500 people have died. As of Friday, over 4.2 million Israelis have received the first dose of the vaccine; 2.8 million have received both doses.

An Israeli study issued on Friday said that Pfizer’s vaccine is 75 percent effective two to four weeks after a single shot.

Israel’s Health Ministry said Saturday that coronavirus vaccines were “dramatically” effective and the latest data shows the shots were 98.9% effective at preventing death caused by COVID-19. According to the data released by the ministry, the vaccine is also 99.2% protective against serious illness, reduces morbidity by 95.8% and decreases the chance of hospitalization by 98.9%.

“The vaccine dramatically reduces serious illness and death and you can see this influence in our morbidity statistics,” said Health Ministry Director-General Chezy Levy.

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