Netanyahu: Israel to be First Country to Vaccinate All its Citizens
Israel will get vaccine doses for all Israeli adults and share the data with the world.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
“Israel will be the first country in the world to emerge from the coronavirus,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday after announcing that the American company Pfizer would supply enough vaccine and in return Israel will share all the data of its inoculation campaign with the world.
“The agreement that I have made with Pfizer will enable us to vaccinate all citizens of Israel over the age of 16 by the end of March and perhaps even earlier,” the prime minister tweeted.
“Israel will be a global model state for the rapid vaccination of an entire country,” Netanyahu said. “Israel will share with Pfizer and with the entire world the statistical data that will help develop strategies for defeating the coronavirus.”
On Thursday evening Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein announced the breakthrough that Israel volunteered to be a giant laboratory experiment to help the world emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.
“In recent weeks I have held 17 conversations with my friend Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla,” Netanyahu told the nation in a live briefing. “I am excited to inform you about a tremendous breakthrough that will pull us out of the coronavirus and get us back to life.”
The agreement means that all Israelis who want to will be able to be vaccinated, with Netanyahu calling it Operation “Getting Back to Life.”
“Israel will be a global model state for the rapid vaccination of an entire country,” he said, adding the shipment is due to arrive by air on Sunday with more to follow. “Israel will share with Pfizer and with the entire world the statistical data that will help develop strategies for defeating the coronavirus.”
But Netanyahu warned Israel’s 9.3 million citizens that “we need everyone to make one final effort,” calling on everyone to adhere to lockdown rules of the national lockdown that went into effect at midnight on Thursday for two weeks. Except for essential services, Israelis must remain within one kilometer (0.6 miles) of their homes, schools and all non-essential stores will be closed “in a great final effort” to defeat the pandemic.
“We can do this because our health system is among the most advanced in the world, truly a light unto the nations,” the prime minister noted. All Israelis belong to a health maintenance organization and the HMOs have been vaccinating up to 150,000 people per day for the past two weeks.
To date, Israel has vaccinated more citizens per capita than any other country in the world.
“Through Operation Getting Back to Life we will open the economy, return to places of work, synagogues, restaurants and cafes, soccer fields and basketball courts, cultural events, to the lives we so much miss and love,” he said.
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