JERUSALEM — Israel’s Health Ministry was weighing on Thursday whether to approve a fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose for some people to contain the fast-spreading Omicron variant, after experts recommended taking that step even before much scientific data was available to support another booster.
Despite the uncertainty, the pandemic response panel advising the government concluded that the potential benefits outweighed the risks, pointing to signs of waning immunity a few months after the third shot. It said that any delay in additional doses might prove too late to protect those most at risk.
If the Health Ministry approves the panel’s recommendation — which could happen imminently — Israel would be well ahead of other nations in administering a fourth dose. The prime minister, Naftali Bennett, has made clear he supports a fourth shot and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz has suggested that a new round of boosters could get underway by Sunday.