Corona Commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash on Sunday said that the possibility that those who received the Covid-19 vaccine “get infected more than others” was being monitored.
Speaking to Galei Tzahal, Ash assessed that the vaccination of children with the Covid-19 vaccine would commence “in the coming weeks,” following Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA.
“There are two stages that must be passed: One is the approval of the FDA, the other is the approval of the committee here in Israel. As with the [other] vaccines I assess we will receive those two permits in the coming weeks and will start to vaccinate children,” he said.
The FDA has so far only granted “Emergency Use Authorization” (EUA) for use of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine on those aged 16 and older. According to the Pfizer vaccine’s authorized labeling, products with EUA are considered “unapproved” by the FDA and "have not undergone the same type of review as an FDA-approved or cleared product."
The FDA bases the EUA on the assumption that “There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine to prevent COVID-19.”
Ash was also asked to respond to reported evidence in recent weeks of a decline in the amount of antibodies observed among medical teams after receiving the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and the question of whether this implied an expiration in the vaccine’s effectiveness.
“No. First of all, that is part of our monitoring,” Ash responded, adding, “but more important in the monitoring is to see whether people who were vaccinated get infected more than others. In the meantime, we don’t see such signs.”
Ash explained that an observed decrease in antibodies was to be “expected” and, in any event, the body has “other mechanisms of protection.”
“It is expected that there will be a decrease in the level of antibodies in the blood, and there are other mechanisms of protection, such that I don’t see a problem with it, and we will continue to monitor this detail as well as the [issue of] infections - which is even more important.”
Last month, Ash told Kan News that Israel still doesn't have data about the vaccine's ability to protect against infection.
“We want at this point at least, when we don’t know the level of the vaccine’s defense against infection - we know it protects against morbidity and serious morbidity very well, but we still don’t have data about defense against infection - to maintain another safety factor at this stage, and this is the masks, distancing and hygiene principles,” he had said.