The Israeli Ministry of Health on Thursday night said it has approved the administration of the fourth booster vaccine shot against COVID-19 for the adults at high risk.

Nachman Ash, director general of the ministry, approved the fourth vaccine shot for those with suppressed immune systems, following recommendation from a panel of experts last week.

The people at high risk include those who have had a heart, lung, kidney or liver transplant, or suffer rheumatological or autoimmune diseases, cancers, multiple sclerosis and more.

However, the panel’s recommendation to give the fourth shot to the entire elderly population over the age of 60 has not yet been approved.

People with suppressed immune systems are at the highest risk, as they do not develop a serological response after receiving three vaccine doses, the ministry explained.

The fourth dose will be given under the condition that at least four months have passed since the third shot was given, and for those aged 18 and over only.

The ministry also announced new restrictions due to the fast spread of the Omicron variant which led to the 5th wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel, including wearing a face mask outdoors at a gathering of over 50 people.

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