Israel’s Booster Shot Policy Threatens Return to School

Half of Israel’s teachers will lose their “Green Passport” next week, and will be docked pay for their inability to enter schools

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Coronavirus, Vaccine
Israeli children will be required to perform an at-home antigen test and present a negative result to gain entry to schools on Thursday.
Israeli children will be required to perform an at-home antigen test and present a negative result to gain entry to schools on Thursday. Photo: Chen Leopold/Flash90

With the biblical High Holy Days now behind us, Israeli kids are scheduled to return to school tomorrow (Thursday), but the government’s new COVID booster shot policy might make that difficult.

As of Sunday, October 3, Israelis who are otherwise fully vaccinated against COVID-19 but who haven’t yet received their booster shot (third dose) will lose their “Green Passport.”

Currently, there are well over one million Israelis who fall in this category. And among them are estimated to be half of the nation’s school teachers.

What’s more is that the Ministry of Education has determined that teachers who lose their Green Passport and therefore are unable to enter schools will have their salaries docked.

Ran Erez, the director of Israel’s secondary school teachers’ union, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett noting that “there are no decisions like this directed at any other sector in the country, it is a measure that harms Israeli teachers in a disproportionate way.”

But a senior government official who spoke to Ha’aretz indicated that Bennett isn’t about to back down, and expressed confidence that the campaign to pressure Israel’s citizens to get COVID booster shots will work and is necessary.

“The mass vaccinations will break the chain of infection and bring an end to this fourth wave,” insisted the unnamed official. Not everyone agrees. See: Why is Israel Still Giving COVID Boosters if the WHO Said to Stop?

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