Israeli COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Offers Lessons for US Distribution

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Shaare Zedek Medical worker prepares a Covid-19 vaccine injection, Jan. 3, 2021. (Flash90/Yonatan Sindel)

By Lynn Allison(NEWSMAX)

Israel is at the head of the class in vaccinating its citizens boasting the fastest rollout in the world. So far, an incredible 20% of its population have received the COVID-19 jab and the country now plans to inoculate everyone over the age of 16 by the end of March.

According to The Wall Street Journal, while Israel’s 9 million population makes the job of vaccinating its people simpler than tackling the 332,000,000 citizens in the U.S., some the country’s innovative methods are models of economy and ingenuity that could be applied to any country. For example, the Pfizer vaccine which requires extremely cold temperature storage, comes in 1,000 dose packages. Israel devised a way to split the packages into smaller bundles with only a few hundred doses, according to the Journal. This makes delivery more accessible to remote places and ensures less waste. While Israel is following a similar pattern of vaccine distribution priority as the U.S., vaccinating healthcare workers, seniors and those with high-risk medical conditions, its policy allows for any leftover vaccines to be administered to anyone who is available.

The Israelis are also setting up massive medically staffed vaccination sites in sport arenas and other venues away from medical facilities so that people will have easy access to getting vaccinated. Public health officials are aggressively texting and reaching out to individuals who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 inoculation, according to the Journal.

Israel became the first country to announce it will issue a “green passport” to residents who receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to its Ministry of Health. Chezy Levy, the Ministry of Health’s Director-General, said that a vaccine passport offers many benefits to the holder.

“This passport will show that a person is vaccinated and will give a number of advantages such as not needing to quarantine, entry to all kinds of culture events, restaurants and so on,” he said, according to Newsweek.

Israel has also been reaching out to minority groups, such as the ultra-Orthodox, to convince their rabbis and leaders of the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, according to the Journal, and received approval from top officials urging their people to get inoculated.