Israel begins push to vaccinate health workers against Covid-19

Jerusalem, Dec 20 (efe-epa).- Israel on Sunday began a campaign to vaccinate hospital workers against Covid-19, a program that saw the country’s president get involved in a bid to boost public confidence in the jab.

“When you go and you get vaccinated, you are not only taking care of your own health but also of those around you,” Reuven Rivlin told reporters at the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem.

He said the vaccine would “help everyone return to normality, reactivate the economy and lift part of the huge pressure” on the health system.

The president added that concerns about the vaccine were “legitimate” but assured the public that it had undergone rigorous testing.

Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Saturday became the first person in the country to get the jab amid a flurry of media coverage after a recent survey found that the majority of the population were concerned about getting the vaccine.

Some government ministers received the vaccination on Sunday and officials hope to roll the jab out to other politicians next week, according to public media outlet Kan.

On Monday there will be a campaign to vaccinate older people and their carers.

Israel, a country of nine million, has hundreds of thousands of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — 600,000 according to the local press — and expects to have access to four million by the end of the month.

The health minister, Sharon Alroy-Preis, told a local radio station on Sunday that the government expected to be able to vaccinate two million people in the coming weeks.

The government plans to vaccinate between 60,000 to 82,000 people a day, although some local news outlets have suggested the rollout could be slower due to distribution limitations. EFE-EPA


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