On Monday, Sheba Medical Center, the largest hospital in Israel, has announced a program to begin giving fourth vaccine doses (a second booster shot), in the framework of a new research study.

“On Monday, Sheba Medical Center will commence the first study of its kind in the world, giving a fourth vaccine dose in order to test the efficacy of a fourth dose. The study is based on serological testing and immunity of the largest such cohort in the world – around 6,000 people.

“Around 150 healthcare workers at Sheba will also be participating in the study, people who received their third vaccine dose before August 20, 2021, whose serological levels are under 700.

“The study is being conducted in collaboration with the Health Ministry and has been approved by the Helsinki Committee – the highest supervisory body for human testing.

“The study is being led by Prof. Gili Regev-Yochai, the director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Sheba Medical Center.”

“This study will focus on the effects of the fourth vaccine dose and how it impacts antibody levels, the level of contagion, and the safety of the fourth dose,” said Prof. Regev-Yochai. “It should shed light on the advantages to be gained by giving a fourth vaccine dose, and will help us to understand whether to give such a dose, and if so, to whom. This study, along with previous studies conducted by Sheba Medical Center staff, will enable us to investigate issues that arise while managing the battle against the epidemic and to serve as the decision-makers in determining health policy in Israel and around the world.”