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JERUSALEM | & nbsp; A pioneer in anti-Covid vaccination, Israel on Thursday received its first shipment of anti-coronavirus pills from Pfizer and gave the go-ahead for a 4th dose for those at risk in the hope of step up its fight against the Omicron variant.
The pills “will help us overcome the coming peak of the Omicron wave,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said after the arrival of the cargo at Tel Aviv airport.
Contacted by AFP, the Ministry of Health did not wish to immediately indicate the number of pills received.
The American Medicines Agency (FDA) had authorized the treatment last week from the American laboratory Pfizer, marketed under the name of Paxlovid.
This pill reduces hospitalizations and deaths by 88% in people at risk when taken within the first five days after the onset of symptoms , according to clinical trials involving more than 2,200 people.
“This is a key element, along with the vaccine and the mask, in the strategy to stem the Omicron wave,” epidemiologist Ran Balicer, head of innovation at the fund, told AFP. 'Israeli health insurance Clalit.
Pfizer's treatment could save people most at risk of developing severe symptoms linked to the virus, he said.
“For these people, this drug could dramatically reduce the risks if the infection is quickly detected, which will also reduce the pressure on hospitals,” said this expert, while the Minister of Health, Nitzan Horowitz, said Thursday expect a wave of Omicron contamination “not very long and marked by a rapid spread of the virus”.
Israeli authorities identified almost 4,000 new cases of Covid on Wednesday, a record since September which has not yet translated into a marked increase in hospitalizations, however.
The prime minister said last week that all Israelis over 60 and medical staff would be entitled to a fourth dose, but this decision has yet to be approved by the health ministry.
“Everything as we were pioneers in the world to administer a third and fourth dose of vaccine, we are still leading, giving pills to the citizens of Israel, ”he said on Thursday.
Department of Health Director Nachman Ash on Thursday authorized a fourth dose for some immunocompromised people. “I gave the green light based on research showing the benefit of the vaccine, including a fourth dose, for this population made even more vulnerable by the Omicron wave,” he said.
< p> In the wake of the Sheba Hospital, near Tel Aviv, where clinical tests are being carried out, announced the administration of a 4th dose on Friday morning to people who have undergone a heart transplant.
Some 4.2 of Israel's 9.3 million people, more than half of adults, have received three doses of the coronavirus vaccine.