On Friday, the State of Israel entered into a strict, third lockdown, which will last for at least a term of two weeks. During this time, millions of vaccines for the novel coronavirus are scheduled to arrive in the country. The deliveries will begin on Sunday.
The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, gave a speech on Thursday addressing the arrival of these new vaccines. He stated that there will be enough doses to inoculate all citizens that are aged 16 and above, at latest by the end of March.
According to the leader of the country, Israel will be the first of all states to emerge victorious from the deadly disease. He added that all relevant populations will be vaccinated, as well as anyone who wants to get the vaccine administered.
The Prime Minister informed that one shipment is set to arrive on Sunday, whereas the rest will soon follow. He revealed that a deal had been made with Pfizer to increase the number of doses being delivered to the country along with the speed with which they were being sent out. Netanyahu went on to say that this deal is an indicator that Israel is a ‘model nation’ for how to beat the pandemic.
In his speech, the leader said that the administration of vaccines will allow the citizens of the country to exit the coronavirus crisis and resume life as per the norm. He promised that the economy will reopen, workplaces will be allowed to operate, synagogues will once again welcome people, as everyone returned to the lives they love and miss.
Netanyahu named the mass vaccination campaign in the country as ‘Returning to Life’. He motivated Israelis to receive the vaccine because it will help the country defeat the virus. According to him, the country has one of the most advanced health systems in the world and therefore, can beat the deadly coronavirus.
The Health Ministry has stated that they will be providing ‘general data’ to Pfizer as a part of their deal. This will include information on pandemic morbidity, such as the number of positive cases, dead, critically ill, and vaccinated. It further clarified that no personal data will be released.
In addition, Netanyahu along with Benny Gantz, the Alternate Prime Minister, recently made an announcement that teachers will be given priority to receive the vaccination.
The country had decided that the second doses will be administered to those who have already been inoculated. As per this plan, new vaccinations would have been halted for a week. The rationale behind this decision was the fact that the Health Ministry was worried about Israel running out of vaccines before administering the second dose. Inoculating patients a second time is important because it ensures maximum immunity.
Therefore, the Prime Minister had been constantly in contact with the companies to try and move up the delivery of vaccines. While making his remarks on Thursday, he informed that he had personally spoken to the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, at least 17 times for this purpose.