Home Front Command ends serological testing for children

IDF soldiers conducting the serological tests join marathon efforts to package and distribute antigen tests prior to start of school year.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Serological testing (illustrative)
Serological testing (illustrative)
Arutz Sheva

The IDF's Home Front Command on Wednesday decided to end the serological testing for children ages 3-12, Israel Hayom reported.

The testing had originally been planned for all students who could not yet be vaccinated, in an attempt to allow those who had antibodies not to quarantine if a classmate was diagnosed with coronavirus.

However, the Education Ministry decided to end serological testing, other than in localities which saw 10% or more of their population infected with the virus.

According to Israel Hayom, the soldiers who were scheduled to conduct the serological testing will instead focus on preparing and handing out the rapid antigen tests to schools in southern Israel. According to an Education Ministry official, there is concern that the project will not be completed in time, and some of the tests will not reach their intended schools.

The tests must be kept at a temperature less than 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

Currently, 2,300 IDF soldiers are working around the clock to assemble the kits, in three shifts of eight hours each, with the goal of packing two million tests before Friday morning.

On Tuesday, Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) called on the government to end serological testing for students, since the percentage of students with antibodies is proving to be lower than expected.

"Let's say a student tests positive and the class goes into quarantine, are those 3-4 students going to learn alone in their classroom?" Kan Reshet Bet quoted Zandberg as asking. "It's completely extraneous. It would be better to take the soldiers who were called up and send them to vaccinate in homes or in the Bedouin sector."



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