- Sputnik International, 1920
Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.

'Untimely and Useless'? Israeli Tweeps Question Need for Fourth Covid Jab Amid Omicron Spread

© AFP 2023 / MENAHEM KAHANAAn Israeli health worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at the Clalit Health Service in Jerusalem on August 1, 2021, as Israel launches its campaign to give booster shots to people aged over 60.
An Israeli health worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at the Clalit Health Service in Jerusalem on August 1, 2021, as Israel launches its campaign to give booster shots to people aged over 60. - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.12.2021
On Tuesday, Israel registered more than 700 new daily cases, despite the fact that the country was hit by Omicron, a new strain of COVID-19.
Israeli authorities are mulling the option of offering a fourth shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in a bid to prevent a possible fifth wave of the virus. The shot will be given to immuno-suppressed patients only, after research revealed that they were less likely to develop antibodies than the general population.
Reports have also suggested that the IDF is making relevant preparations and is determined to vaccinate its soldiers as soon as there is another spike in the number of coronavirus patients.

Growing Dissatisfaction

The news of a possible fourth shot is already stirring a lively discussion on social media platforms, where users struggle to accept the possibility of yet another jab.
"They are turning our citizens into drug addicts," wrote one Twitter user.
Another one added: "Seriously... these are the same old tricks of the Health Ministry. You cannot longer deceive us. They start with a small lie and say the jab is for immuno-suppressed people only. This is how they prepare Israel for a fourth jab".
In July, Israel started administering a booster shot to everyone above the age of 60. Gradually, that campaign was expanded to everyone over 40, and several weeks down the line, all Israeli citizens eligible for the jab were asked to get vaccinated.
Now, many Israelis believe their government is planning to pull the same trick once more.
"What makes them think that a fourth vaccine will work if a booster has failed? Nobody believes them anymore," complained a Twitter user.
"Almost one million and a half chose not to get the third shot, and now they are talking about a fourth shot... there is no way I will do that," promised another.
In September, Israel was hit by yet another wave of the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, the country was registering an average of 9,500 daily cases, and authorities pushed for a booster shot to bring those numbers down.
That policy soon bore fruit, and as the vaccination drive kept spreading, the amount of daily cases continued to go down. As of Tuesday, Israel registered slightly over 700 new cases, despite the fact that the country was recently hit by Omicron, a new COVID-19 variant that's believed to be more contagious than other strains.

Unnecessary Move?

But for many Israelis, the relatively low numbers are only an indication that another jab that is planned to be rolled out in the midst of a calm season was a move that makes little sense. The plan prompted some to engage in conspiracy theories.
"How many vaccine doses did Israel undertake to try on its citizens in that secret contract with Pfizer?" questioned one tweep.
"They are irresponsible zombies," said another one, referring to the government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. "Bourla is already talking about a fourth jab and only says that we will need to get vaccinated every year. He secured his financial future. Has anyone dreamt of vaccinating themselves from all the variants of the flu? What's the big difference?..."
In the past, that dissatisfaction with the government's policies brought some Israelis into the streets. Those events might repeat themselves, should the coalition decide to move ahead with yet another jab.
And this is the reason why authorities are now accelerating their advocacy efforts and trying to educate the masses about the need for a fourth jab.
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