PM Naftali Bennett announced the start of the booster campaign for over 60s on Thursday
Israel's President Isaac Herzog received a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on Friday, launching the Jewish state's campaign to give booster shots to people aged over 60.
"We are beginning the booster vaccination" so that life in Israel can return to "normal" as soon as possible, Herzog said after receiving the injection at Sheba hospital in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv.
Israel was quick to roll out its vaccination campaign and had dropped many restrictions on public gatherings in June, but infections soared, and masks are once again mandatory in enclosed public places.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced the start of the booster campaign for over 60s on Thursday, as concern mounts over the fast-spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus.
"Israel is a pioneer in going ahead with third doses for people of the age of 60 and above," said the 49-year-old premier who accompanied Herzog to the hospital.
"The fight against the Covid pandemic is a global fight. The only way we can defeat Covid is together.
"Together means sharing information, together means sharing methods, technologies, insights and actionable steps. Israel is opened to share all the information that we can gain from this bold move. We can win together."
Israel had already authorised in mid-July the administration of a third dose of vaccine for people with severe immunosuppression since their immune system made them vulnerable to the virus.
Pfizer, which produces the vaccine used in Israel, has said research shows that a third dose has neutralising effects against the Delta variant of Covid.
But the US Food and Drug Administration, whose recommendations Israel generally follows, has yet to give the green light to administering a third dose to the elderly.