Israel has begun trials of a fourth dose of coronavirus vaccine in what is believed to be the first study of its kind.
The trial began at Sheba Medical Center, outside Tel Aviv, with 150 medical personnel who received a booster dose in August receiving a fourth shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The staff receiving the additional dose were tested and found to have low antibody levels.
The trial came as Israeli officials have considered rolling out a second tranche of booster shots to its population as the country grapples with rising infections with the new omicron variant.
As the trials on a fourth shot begin, Israel is already set to offer a second booster shot to citizens who are over the age of 60, anyone with a compromised immune system and health care workers. Those people will be eligible for a fourth dose four months after receiving a third shot.
The decision is awaiting approval by the country’s Health Ministry Director Nachman Ash before it is officially recognized as national policy and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has praised the recommendation, hoping it will help offset the impact of omicron, reports CBS.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allowed adults with compromised immune systems to receive a fourth dose booster shot of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in October.