Israel announced that oncology patients would only take two jabs only.
Israel began administering on Monday, a third shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to patients with compromised immune systems, including people who have had heart, lung and kidney transplants and some cancer patients.
The Health Ministry said on Sunday that after reviewing data on hundreds of patients from oncology wards, “the recommendation at this stage is to not vaccinate” cancer patients.
“Nearly 90 percent of the patients receiving chemotherapy developed antibodies following the (two doses of) vaccination, and the level of antibodies remained high a number of months after the vaccination,” it said in a “clarification” to the health funds and hospitals administering the shots.
“In addition, the vaccination could have side effects… that could affect the oncological treatment,” the ministry said.
It decided to go ahead with third shots in the light of evidence “that patients with immunosuppression do not develop an adequate antibody response after two doses” and after the number of daily cases began to rise.
Pfizer and BioNTech revealed that they would request permission from the US and European authorities to provide a third dose of their vaccine, but European regulators say it was too early to tell if a third was necessary.
The World Health Organization (W.H.O) has expressed concern that such a booster shot could come at the expense of countries whose citizens have not yet received their first two doses.