Another consignment of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine landed in Israel today. The consignment contains about 700,000 doses of the vaccine that will allow Israel to continue inoculating its elderly population and others at high risk because of preexisting medical conditions as well as inoculating teachers in the education system. The consignment was transported this afternoon to the Teva Israel SLA logistics center in Shoham near the airport where it will be stored in refrigerated conditions before being distributed to hospitals and health fund clinics throughout the country.
The first round of vaccinations for 1.8 million Israelis has already been completed and the second jab is being administered to those people starting today. Vaccine for the second jab was reserved for all those receiving the first vaccination.
Before the arrival of the latest vaccine doses, some health fund clinics ran out of vaccine and had to cancel appointments for today and tomorrow for people receiving their first vaccination.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was at Ben Gurion airport today to greet the arrival of the latest consignment of vaccines. He said that 72% of Israelis over 60 had already received their first vaccination, and that the rest of this population group would now receive their vaccinations. 59% of the vaccine doses received so far have been given to that age group.
He added, "Next Sunday another huge consignment will arrive and we will begin vaccinating the 50-60 year old age group and so we will move forward. We will start vaccinating 170,000 people per day, and that is a world record. World leaders keep phoning me up and applauding us. Israel has become a world model. In the coming days I will focus strongly on the economy just as I have been focusing on the Covid-19 situation. We will be the first country to come out of the Covid-19 health crisis and the Covid-19 economic crisis. This is a plane injecting us with encouragement, a dream plane - to leave behind the gloom of the pandemic into the bright light."
Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein said Israel planned to vaccinate 5 million people by March and Israel's Covid-19 Project Coordinator Prof. Nachman Ash spoke even more ambitiously than the prime minister and said he hoped it would be possible to vaccinate 200,000 people per day.
Meanwhile the number of people seriously ill in hospital with Covid-19 has passed 1,000 for the first time since the pandemic began, exceeding the previous record of 898 on October 4. The Ministry of Health expects that the number will continue to rise before the effects of the vaccination drive and the third lockdown begin to kick in.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 10, 2021
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021