Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis
Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, Head of Israel's Public Health Services, on Wednesday morning dismissed the possibility that Israel will begin vaccinating children ages 5-11 before the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues its approval.

Earlier this week, Pfizer-BioNTech announced that its coronavirus vaccine has been found to be both safe and effective for children ages 5-11.

"When the vaccine is not yet approved by a regulatory body, we wait," Dr, Alroy-Preis told Galei Zahal. "It's different than the decision about the booster, where we saw, by the data, that there was a lessening of the protection that the vaccine offers [after two shots]."

She also explained the difficulties with the ECMO system, in which the medical staff is impossibly overwhelmed.

"Beside each of these machines there needs to be a skilled medical staff," she said. "Machines can be bought, but the problem is that such staff require training over the course of several years."

Separately, Dr. Michael (Mickey) Halbertal, Chairman of the Public Hospital Directors' Forum, responded to the FDA decision to approve boosters only for the elderly and high risk.

Speaking to Kan Bet, Dr. Halbertal said, "Not everything that is appropriate for other countries is appropriate for us. There's confusion on the issue following the FDA decision. We also made a decision to first vaccinate the elderly and high risk populations. Unfortunately in Israel 14 of the intubated patients are young."

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