1.8 Million Israelis Receive COVID-19 Vaccine, Infection Rate Remains High

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Israel’s operation to inoculate the population against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to progress rapidly on Sunday as the infection rate in the country remained high. Photo by Eitan Elhadez-Barak/TPS on 15 December, 2020

By: Aryeh Savir

Israel’s operation to inoculate the population against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to progress rapidly on Sunday as the infection rate in the country remained high.

A shipment of 700,000 Pfizer-developed vaccines arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday, the latest in a series of shipments of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna to arrive in the country.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein were at Ben-Gurion Airport to welcome the shipment of the Pfizer vaccines.

Calling the shipment “a plane full of injections of encouragement,” Netanyahu said that he agreed with Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla that Israel will bring enough vaccines to complete the vaccination of the Israeli population over the age of 16 during the month of March.

Pfizer is receiving data on the Israeli operation and by lending to support to the operation is essentially receiving an optimal testing ground for its vaccine.

Over 72% of Israelis over the age of 60 have been vaccinated and a total of 1.8 million have received the first dose of the vaccine. The Health Ministry hopes to increase the pace of vaccinations to 170,000 a day.

The Health Ministry estimates that some five million Israelis will receive the first dose of the vaccine by the end of March.

“This is a world record,” Netanyahu declared.

Our World in Data, a global, aggregated database on COVID-19, showed that on a scale of the number of COVID-19 vaccination doses administered per 100 people within a given population, Israel came in first with 20.93, twice the number of the country ranked second, Bahrain with 10.99.

The global average is currently 0.31.

In the meantime, Israel is in the midst of a third tightened countrywide lockdown as the number of daily infections remains high.

The Ministry of Health updated Monday morning that it documented 6,706 new infection cases over the past 24 hours.

Of the tests done on Sunday, a high 7.4% returned positive.

1,044 patients hospitalized with Corona are in serious condition, 251 of them are on life support, the highest number since the outbreak in February 2020.

3, 671 Israelis have died of the virus.

  (TPS)