giving the vaccine
giving the vaccineYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash spoke to Golan Yochpaz Anat Davidov on 103FM to discuss the government's policy on combatting the rise in coronavirus cases.

"I am following the numbers with concern, even over the weekend there were many verified cases and the number of patients has risen sharply. The number of verified cases is expected to rise, we hope to see the effect of the third vaccine dose. We are opening more and more wards, and dealing with such a wave is very complicated, There is already a decline in the quality of care of the hospitals, and the burden on the staff adversely effects the quality of the treatment.," Prof. Ash said.

He added: "We need to wait and see the effect of the third vaccine dose, and I very much hope that it will be possible to avoid a lockdown. The next few days will make it clear. We hope to see signs of a decrease in the cases of serious illness in the coming week. If we see that the cases serious illness continue to rise, we will reach a situation where we will need a lockdown."

Turning to the issue of providing vaccinations to students in schools, Prof. Ash stated: "I do not see a ban on vaccinating students during school hours, it has value and we will do it together with the provision of other vaccines. The discussions on the subject are legitimate, but it is right to provide vaccination in schools."

A number of senior officials in the health system, headed by the director general of the Health Ministry, Prof. Nachman Ash, are calling for the administration of a third vaccination dose to begin for those aged 40 and over soon, even this week - after receiving the appropriate approvals.

Prof. Ash told Israel Hayom that he was in favor of immediate approval of a third vaccine for those aged 40 and over, adding that "we will monitor the efficacy and safety data in the coming week, and see if such a decision can be made."

Clalit Health Services head Prof. Zion Hagai, who is also among the supporters of the move, added that "postponing the vaccine for people aged 40 to 50 can cost lives. A vaccine for people aged 40 and over will also increase protection against the Delta variant among the population, and reduce the rate of serious morbidity. There is no other way to reduce morbidity except by vaccination, and there is already information about a large number of people who received a third vaccine without side effects and that it is even less than those who were in the second vaccine."