Medical professionals say third jab mandate politically motivated.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
After an FDA decision called into question the necessity of so-called “booster” shots, Israeli doctors and medical professionals wrote a letter condemning a new policy from the Ministry of Health which requires Israelis to be triple vaccinated in order to freely enter a number of public places.
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz recently announced that Israelis who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine must now go for a third dose, lest they lose their “Green Passport” status which allows them to work in offices, access gyms and restaurants, and other public venues.
Some 100 Israeli doctors, nurses, and medical professionals signed a letter addressed to Horowitz on Sunday, calling the policy “unreasonable” and politically motivated, citing the FDA recommendation that booster shots only go to the elderly and immunocompromised.
“As you no doubt know, the decision by experts at the American FDA was to permit booster shots only for people over 65 and people in high-risk groups,” the letter read, according to Channel 12 News.
“That means that the Israeli government will strip its citizens ages 16 through 65 of a wide range of basic legal rights including the freedom of movement, freedom to work, and more – and all this when the experts at the FDA say that it [the booster shot] is not justified medically.
“The decision to strip people who did not receive a booster shot of their Green Passport was not a medical decision but rather a political one, and an extremely unreasonable one at that.”
The signatories said that if Horowitz does not roll back the policy, they will appeal to the Supreme Court to block the third jab mandate.
However, the Supreme Court so far has refused to hear any petitions regarding Israel’s coronavirus restrictions, with the exception of major issues including citizens being unable to return to the Jewish State due to full airport closures on the eve of an election.
“One can see from the recent rulings [to reject petitions] regarding the Green Passport and the rulings [during the coronavirus] period that the Supreme Court very much does not want to intervene when it comes to such questions,” Prof. Eyal Gross, a constitutional law expert, told Channel 12.
“It’s a bit reminiscent of security rulings. Except for the very extreme issues such as the Shin Bet location [tracking of people in quarantine], the demonstrations and the flights…since then the Court did not intervene [or hear any] petitions, including those [regarding] closures and synagogues.”
Israel was the first country in the world to roll out a third coronavirus jab, a move which was heavily criticized by the World Health Organization.
The WHO called on Israel and other countries to refrain from giving their citizens booster shots, arguing that two doses were enough to provide significant and effective protection against serious illness and that countries with extra doses should turn their jabs over to nations which had not yet vaccinated significant swathes of their populations.