Israeli Ministry of Health director-general Nachman Ash approved a fourth Pfizer coronavirus vaccine shot on Wednesday for people over the age of 18 who suffer from underlying medical conditions, are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 and their caregivers.

The decision was made in light of recent Health Ministry data that found a fourth jab is two times more effective at preventing infection than only a third shot and three to five times more effective at stopping severe disease.

The move comes as Israel’s health system announced that it would need to operate on “Shabbat mode” in some departments due to the high number of coronavirus patients.

More than 76,000 new Omicron cases were diagnosed in Israel on Tuesday, reported the Health Ministry late Wednesday. More than 2,300 people are hospitalized with the virus, including more than 900 in serious conditions.

According to the ministry, the fourth dose will be given on the condition that four months have passed since the date of receiving the third vaccine.

JNS

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