COVID-19: Vaccine recommended by committee for children 6 months-5 years

The Pandemic Response Committee recommended that children in Israel between the ages of 6 months and five years may soon be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

A HEALTH worker administers a COVID test to a child at a Maccabi HMO clinic.  (photo credit: MICHAEL GILADI/FLASH90)
A HEALTH worker administers a COVID test to a child at a Maccabi HMO clinic.
(photo credit: MICHAEL GILADI/FLASH90)

Children in Israel between the ages of 6 months and five years may soon be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine after the Pandemic Response Committee voted to recommend this step to the Health Ministry.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, the committee announced that following a meeting of health professionals on Wednesday to debate the issue, they had voted to recommend to the Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash that children in this age group become eligible for the vaccine.

So which children get the vaccine?

58% of the committee voted in favor of recommending that children with risk factors receive the vaccine while also extending eligibility to children without risk factors. 

13% voted in favor of recommending that all children receive the vaccine, and another 13% voted in favor of opening up eligibility to children without issuing a recommendation. Finally, 16% of committee members voted for the vaccine to be restricted only to children with risk factors.

 Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, Health Ministry Director-General Professor Nachman Ash and Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health services at the Health Ministry attend a press conference about the Polio vaccine in Tel Aviv, on April 26, 2022 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90) Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, Health Ministry Director-General Professor Nachman Ash and Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health services at the Health Ministry attend a press conference about the Polio vaccine in Tel Aviv, on April 26, 2022 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

Prof. Ash is soon expected to examine the recommendation and make a decision on whether or not the recommendation will be implemented.

COVID worldwide

The committee’s recommendation comes less than a month after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted to recommend children in the same age group be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Following the CDC announcement on June 18 that Moderna Inc's shot would be authorized for children aged six months to 5 years, and Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine authorized for children aged six months to 4 years, Israel’s Pandemic Response Committee announced that they too would convene to discuss authorizing a similar decision.