Boy receives first dose of the COVID vaccine
Boy receives first dose of the COVID vaccineYonatan Sindel/Flash90

The first children in the five to eleven age cohort to receive the first dose of the COVID vaccine are now eligible for the second dose, though it appears few parents are rushing to vaccinate their young children.

According to a report by Israel Hayom Monday morning, just 10% of children in the 5-11 age group have received the first dose of the vaccine, three weeks after Israel launched a mass vaccination campaign for young children.

Thus far, some 110,700 children aged five to eleven have received the jab, the overwhelming majority of them in the general population.

Both the Arab and haredi sectors had far lower vaccination rates, with just 3,105 children in the Arab sector and 3,901 in the haredi sector receiving the shot. That amounts to 1.1% of children in the 5-11 age cohort in the Arab sector, and 1.9% of haredi children in that age group, compared to 14% of children aged 5 to 11 in the remainder of the population.

There are a total of 1,242,000 children in the 5-11 age cohort, including 224,000, or 18%, who have been confirmed as having recovered from the coronavirus.

Prof. Nadav Davidovitch, director of Ben Gurion University’s School of Public Health, blamed misinformation for the low vaccination rates in the haredi and Arab sectors.

“These gaps are linked to the issue of accessibility, and there is a lot of fake news and lack of trust, which happens more in these sectors of the population.”

“In these groups, there is a feeling that the children get less severely ill, but this is a false sense, because children can get very seriously sick. Finally, we’ve started sending out mobile vaccination units to schools, since there are a lot of people in the Arab sector who would prefer to get the vaccine at school.”