Israel begins Omicron-adapted COVID-19 booster vaccination

Judit Kagan, 75, receives her fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine in a private nursing home in Petah Tikva, Israel on Jan 4, 2022. (ARIEL SCHALIT / AP)

JERUSALEM / YANGON / MANILA / SINGAPORE / HANOI – Israel on Wednesday began providing the booster shot of an Omicron-adapted COVID-19 vaccine across the country, said Israel's major health service organization Clalit and the Ministry of Health.

Those in risk groups, including people aged 65 and over, health workers, and teachers are recommended for the booster shot, said Ministry of Health

The vaccines are given at health maintenance organizations’ clinics across the country, according to their respective statements.
Those in risk groups, including people aged 65 and over, health workers, and teachers are recommended for the booster shot, said the Health Ministry.
Other people at the age of 12 and older are also allowed to be vaccinated with the adapted dose, if they have already received two regular vaccination doses or have recovered from the virus, it noted.
The new vaccine is designed to trigger an improved immune response against the Omicron strains, the ministry noted, adding that the campaign is part of the preparedness for possible new waves of infections in the coming winter.
So far, over 6.15 million people, or 64 percent of the total population, have received at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccines in Israel.


Myanmar has vaccinated more than 37 million people for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, data of the country's Ministry of Health showed.

The figures comprised over 30.5 million people aged 18 and above and more than 6.5 million people aged under 18 years old, the ministry said.

The health ministry confirmed 469 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the country's overall tally to 620,035 on Wednesday.


Singapore reported 2,508 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the country's total tally to 1,882,314.

Of the new cases, 243 cases were detected through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and 2,265 through RATs (rapid antigen test), according to the statistics released by the Ministry of Health.

Among the PCR cases, 225 were local transmissions and 18 were imported cases. Among the RAT cases with mild symptoms and assessed to be of low risk, there were 2,093 local transmissions and 172 imported cases, respectively.

A total of 217 cases are currently warded in hospitals, with 10 cases in intensive care units.

No death was reported from COVID-19 on Wednesday as the total death toll stay unchanged at 1,609, the ministry said.

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The Philippines

The Philippines reported 1,886 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 3,927,120.

The Department of Health said the number of active cases rose to 27,284, while 37 more patients died from COVID-19 complications, taking the death toll to 62,657.

A health worker takes sample from a man for COVID-19 test in Hanoi, Vietnam on Jan 6, 2022. (HAU DINH / AP)


Vietnam recorded 2,287 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, down by 890 from Tuesday, according to its ministry of health.

All the new cases were locally transmitted, said the ministry.

The newly reported infections brought the total tally to 11,465,691. The country reported four new deaths from the pandemic in the central provinces of Binh Thuan and Khanh Hoa and the southern An Giang province on Wednesday, bringing the total fatalities to 43,146.

Approximately 259.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the country, including roughly 220.3 million shots on people aged 18 and above, said the ministry.

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Vietnam has already recorded COVID-19 infections with the Omicron BA.4, BA.5, BA.2.12.1 and BA.2.74 sub-variants and is accelerating the inoculation of its people with a fourth vaccine dose.