Nearly 550,000 citizens in the State of Israel have been given both the shots of the vaccine for the novel coronavirus. Around 2.8 million people have received at least the first dose. These statistics were reported by the Health Ministry on Wednesday, when a couple of Israeli health funds informed that they will now be taking vaccination appointments from citizens as young as 35 years old.
Clalit, an Israeli health fund, is the largest one in the country as of now. It made this announcement regarding people aged 35 and older just a day after the Health Ministry revealed that they will be expanding the vaccination campaign. As per the ministry, they are now going to be inoculating everyone above the age of 40.
In addition, another health fund in the country, Meuhedet, is giving permission to people aged 35-years or older to book slots for vaccination.
Meanwhile, the figures of the coronavirus crisis in Israel continue to alarm the authorities. The country is scrambling to inoculate the adult population residing there, in order to reach herd immunity.
On Tuesday, more than 200,000 people were given the coronavirus vaccine. This number allowed the country to mark a new record and the Health Ministry was able to set up a new goal for itself of administering at least 250,000 shots in a day.
As of now, over 77% of the citizens in Israel, aged above 60, have already been given at least the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
According to the director of the Sheba Medical Center’s Infectious Diseases Unit, Prof. Galia Rahav, the country does not need to restrict the vaccination campaign to certain groups anymore. She is also a member of the Committee of the Health Ministry that is devoted to the issue of vaccination in Israel. She further revealed that there are enough vaccines available to the authorities to vaccinate the general population in the country that comprises of adults.
A spokesperson for the health fund, Clalit, revealed that it has allowed 35-year-olds to make appointments now as well. The reason behind this expansion is because it is exceeding its daily capacity of administering 100,000 shots in a day. In addition, Clalit does not want to waste any more manpower or materials.
The spokesperson was further asked if this decision, made by the health fund in question, was first cleared by the ministry. To this, she replied that she does not know.
However, later in the same day, a spokesperson belonging to the ministry, informed that the ministry has only given guidelines for the vaccination campaign that includes individuals aged 40 and above.
The Health Ministry announced that they are also thinking about giving a high priority to high school students, aged from 16 to 18. This was requested by Benny Gantz, the Defense Minister himself, at a cabinet meeting held on Tuesday. The same was also recommended by Prof. Ynon Ashkenazi, an advisor of the coronavirus cabinet, who teaches at the Hebrew University.