A paramedic with Israel’s Magen David Adom medical service administers the third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on August 24, 2021 in Holon.
Ahmad Gharabli | AFP | Getty Images
Israel and Bahrain want eligible residents to take their Covid booster shots — and those who don’t do so risk losing their fully-vaccinated status, and the privileges that come with it.
In Israel, vaccinated people are given a so-called “green pass” that allows them to enter hotels, restaurants and many other indoor venues.
People who have recovered from Covid-19 can also be issued a green pass under a different set of guidelines.
As of Oct. 3, Israel changed the criteria for the green pass and shortened its validity. According to a government advisory, the pass will expire six months after a person receives their second dose.
“Anyone who had a green pass and after 3/10 does not meet the new criteria will lose the green pass,” a spokesperson from Israel’s health ministry told CNBC.
A third shot will have to be administered before a new green pass can be issued, at least one week after the booster. That pass will also expire six months after the third dose.
It is unclear whether more boosters may be needed in future to be considered fully vaccinated. The health ministry spokesperson said developments in the virus situation and morbidity levels will determine the “continued validity of the green pass” six months after the third dose.
Protests broke out in Israel over the new policy, and an estimated 2 million could lose their Green Pass, Associated Press reported.
Divided on boosters
Bahrain has different criteria for each of the vaccines offered. However, most people 18 years and above will be eligible for a booster shot six months after the second dose.
Data in the kingdom found that from July 1 to Oct. 1, 52% of those who were infected did not take a booster dose. By comparison, 3% of confirmed cases were in people who received a third dose.
“It is therefore clear that booster shots increase immunity,” a government news release said.
— CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr., Rich Mendez, Natasha Turak and Robert Towey contributed to this report.
This story has been updated with the comments of Israel’s health ministry which came after the article was first published.