becoming one of the first countries to do so as it prepares for a wave of infections driven by the omicron variant. Israel, which led a world-beating vaccination program in 2020, will administer a fourth dose of the vaccine to individuals with weakened immune systems along with elderly residents and employees in care homes. The rollout of the fourth dose began at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center Friday morning and was administered to heart and lung transplant patients.
The Omicron coronavirus variant dampened New Year festivities around much of the world, as cities from Paris to Kuala Lumpur cancelled civic celebrations, but London threw a lastminute party on television and Cape Town suddenly lifted a longstanding curfew.
The midnight hour passed in Paris without a planned fireworks display or DJ sets, as city officials cancelled events planned on the Champs-Elysees following the advice of a scientific panel that declared mass gatherings would be too risky.
Elsewhere around the globe, events were scaled back or cancelled outright, as with the traditional fireworks over the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. In the Netherlands, where outside groupings of more than four people are banned, police dispersed several thousand people who had defiantly gathered at Amsterdam’s central Dam Square, ANP news agency reported.