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Challenging Education Ministry, health chief urges COVID vaccination at schools

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Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz on Thursday reiterated his support for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in schools, stressing they are are the best place to reach youth who are not inoculated.

The comments marked an apparent challenge to the authority of Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton, who opposes giving shots during the school day.

“We must make every effort to reach all those who are not yet vaccinated yet,” Horowitz told Channel 12 news.

After Israel appeared to have put the coronavirus pandemic behind it in June, the past two months have seen a rapidly accelerating spread in morbidity, fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant. The government has made vaccination its main weapon in beating back the resurgent virus, with shots now available to all those over the age of 12.

“Vaccinations should be done in the schools because that is the place where youths come,” Horowtiz said, making schools efficient locations for reaching unvaccinated children and, with the permission of their parents, inoculating them.

Acknowledging that Shasha-Biton is opposed to the idea, Horowitz said “the decision regarding vaccinations and everything to do with health is the decision of the health minister, and that is my authority according to the law.”

In an apparent challenge to Shasha-Biton over who has the final word on vaccinating children in schools, Horowitz added that “the authority over health, including inside schools, is that of the Health Ministry, that is the law.”

With the opening of the academic year just weeks away, the government has approved a plan on how to operate schools during the pandemic that will........

© The Times of Israel

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