Israel rolls out new omicron-tailored COVID-19 vaccines

Sep 21, 2022, 5:18 PM | Updated: Sep 22, 2022, 5:52 am
A man receives the fifth Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from medical staff at Clalit Health servi...

A man receives the fifth Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from medical staff at Clalit Health services in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. Israel has launched its fifth vaccination campaign, urging people in at-risk groups and those over 65 to get the additional COVID shot. The fifth vaccine available to Israelis is one that specifically targets the Omicron strain of the coronavirus, which makes up the majority of cases in the country.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel on Thursday began administering doses of coronavirus vaccines tailored to fight the highly infectious omicron variant as its health authorities urged at-risk groups and those over 65 to get the shot.

The rollout of the new vaccine follows Israel’s world-leading drive to vaccinate its population early in 2021. Health officials are now voicing growing concerns about increased COVID-19 infections in the upcoming winter.

Arsen Arutiunian, an official with the Israeli healthcare provider Clalit, said that there had been “big demand” for the booster since the new campaign began. He said the clinic has been flooded with phone calls from people of all ages looking to schedule an appointment.

“I received all of the previous vaccinations. So far, touch wood, I haven’t been infected even though my entire family has I’ve somehow become Teflon. And as they say, keeping healthy,” said Eytan Gurfinkel, a Tel Aviv resident.

As of Thursday, 95 people were hospitalized with serious cases of coronavirus — the lowest point since May. Over 11,600 Israelis have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, according to Health Ministry statistics.

Israel was a world leader last year in vaccinating its population of 9.5 million against the coronavirus, after it struck a deal with Pfizer to trade vaccines for medical data. It quickly vaccinated over 60% of its population with at least two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by last fall.

Over 4.5 million Israelis have received a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, but just over 800,000 have taken a fourth shot.

In August, the FDA approved updated COVID boosters that target the omicron strain and U.S. health officials are beginning the rollout this fall.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Friday’s Scores

PREP FOOTBALL= Camas 56, Kamiak 8 Cascade (Everett) 39, Oak Harbor 14 Castle Rock 47, Fort Vancouver 25 Columbia River 28, R.A. Long 7 Colville 54, Medical Lake 0 Coupeville 35, Friday Harbor 3 Eatonville 27, Tenino 22 Eisenhower 21, Davis 7 Evergreen (Vancouver) 20, Mountain View 14 Glacier Peak 42, Mariner 7 Hoquiam 33, […]
22 hours ago
Kelly Dillaha, left, talks with Kathy Nitz during a Red Wine and Blue event in Utica, Mich., Tuesda...
Associated Press

Michigan women fight to preserve abortion, 1 chat at a time

UTICA, Mich. (AP) — At a wine bar in suburban Detroit, about a dozen women strategized about how to preserve the right to abortion in their state. This was not a typical political event; there were no microphones, no literature to hand out and few who would consider themselves activists. Among them was a mother […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Wrestler Antonio Inoki, left, and world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali shake hands...
Associated Press

Popular wrestler and politician Antonio Inoki dies at 79

TOKYO (AP) — A popular Japanese professional wrestler and lawmaker Antonio Inoki, who faced a world boxing champion Muhammad Ali in a mixed martial arts match in 1976, has died at 79. Inoki brought Japanese pro-wrestling to fame and pioneered mixed martial arts matches between top wrestlers and champions from other combat sports like judo, […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Republican Mark Ronchetti addresses the crowd with his wife and two daughters after winning ...
Associated Press

1st debate highlights stakes in New Mexico race for governor

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican nominee for governor Mark Ronchetti sounded a rallying cry for residents who are dissatisfied with crime and public education in a live-broadcast debate Friday, while incumbent Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham vowed to protect abortion access and defended her response to disasters and her approach to investments in social programs. […]
22 hours ago
FILE - The U.S. Army National Guard members stand outside the Army National Guard office during tra...
Associated Press

US Army misses recruiting goal; other services squeak by

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army fell about 15,000 soldiers — or 25% — short of its recruitment goal this year, officials confirmed Friday, despite a frantic effort to make up the widely expected gap in a year when all the military services struggled in a tight jobs market to find young people willing and fit […]
22 hours ago
A car is submerged in flood water in North Port, Fla., on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Adriana...
Associated Press

After Ian, river flooding menaces Florida inland towns

NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) — As Hurricane Ian ravaged coastal towns in southwest Florida, residents in this quiet suburb thought they would be safe, having no beach and living outside areas under evacuation orders. But then the water kept flowing in. Since Ian’s passage, water levels have gone up significantly, turning roads into canals, reaching […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Israel rolls out new omicron-tailored COVID-19 vaccines