Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said on Wednesday that he’s being attacked by anti-vaxxers for his role in encouraging Israelis to be vaccinated for the coronavirus.
Anti-vaxxers have dubbed him “Mengele” – comparing him to the notorious Nazi Dr. Mengele YM”S for “pushing the needle” and have also accused him of pushing the government to pass legislation forcing Israelis to be vaccinated, a claim Edelstein vehemently denies.
“I’m being called Dr. Mengele, the cursed Nazi murderer because my office is obtaining vaccines for the entire public,” Edelstein said. “Being vaccinated is not an obligation – it wasn’t and won’t be. Being vaccinated is a right. It is my duty as health minister to ensure that we’ll have enough vaccines for all Israelis. If you want to vaccinate, then vaccinate and if you don’t want to vaccinate, don’t vaccinate.”
Health Ministry Director-General Chezy Levy reiterated Edelstein’s message on Wednesday, saying that Israeli law doesn’t allow for forced vaccinations. Levy also said that up to a half of million doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive in Israel as early as December, a month earlier than estimated. Additional vaccine batches will arrive in the first two quarters of 2021, with the first vaccines to be designated for medical workers. The general population is not expected to be vaccinated this winter.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Edelstein visited the Teva SLE Logistic Center, which houses the giant freezers necessary to store the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines at -60°C to -80°C.
Netanyahu spoke to the press, reassuring the Israeli public that Israel is obtaining millions of vaccine doses, enough for anyone who wants to vaccinate to do so more than once and “from what we see here, we won’t have any logistical challenges storing, freezing or distributing the vaccines.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)