With the number of Israelis being inoculated each day against Covid-19 dwindling over the past few weeks, the vaccination drive will move up a gear as some large companies begin allowing employees to get the jab while at work.
The campaign is a join initiative of the Manufacturers Association, Ministry of Health and IDF Home Front and is designed to maximize convenience for employees and raise the percentage of Israelis being vaccinated.
The 'jab on the job' campaign will be implemented by the Magen David Adom (MDA) national emergency medical service, which will send mobile facilities to places of employment. Among the first companies to join the campaign are HP Israel, Osem Nestle, Flex, SodaStream, Unilever and Elbit Systems. MDA insists that it can only vaccinate groups of at least 100, so in some industrial zones smaller and medium sized companies are expected to join together for the purpose.
SodaStream will begin allowing its 3,000 employees to be vaccinated at work from next week. Many of its employees are from the Arab and Bedouin sector where vaccination rates are low. SodaStream's plant is near the Negev Bedouin town of Rahat where only 11% of citizens have been vaccinated. Employees will also be allowed to bring their families.
Maccabi Health Services will also implement vaccination drives at large companies. Next week Maccabi will vaccinate employees at Israel Aerospace Industries, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Isracard, Shufersal and Direct Insurance.
Some health experts describe this new campaign as a game-changer, just as Israel's world beating vaccination rollout desperately needs a shot in the arm.
Since the rollout began on December 20, Israel has vaccinated 3.7 million people (39.7% of the population) including 2.3 million people who have had two jabs.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 11, 2021
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