Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced on Thursday that the majority of Israelis should be vaccinated by March due to a new deal with Pfizer that will see millions of vaccines arriving in Israel beginning on Sunday.
Last week, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said that Israel’s vaccination campaign will have to be paused for a short period this month until new vaccine shipments arrive in March and later in the week, two of Israel’s Kupot Cholim announced that they are not making any new appointments for the administration of first vaccine dosages until they can replenish their supplies.
However, later that week, in a joint press conference on Thursday, Netanyahu and Edelstein said a new agreement has been reached with Pfizer, allowing the delivery of additional vaccine doses earlier than planned. The prime minister said that the additional vaccines mean that the majority of Israelis over the age of 16 will be able to be vaccinated within weeks.
“We will be the first country to emerge from the coronavirus,” Netanyahu said. “The agreement I reached with Pfizer allows us to vaccinate all Israeli citizens over the age of 16 by the end of March and maybe even before that. We will vaccinate all relevant populations and anyone who wants to will be able to be vaccinated.”
“The vaccination campaign will be called ‘Returning to Life’…As part of the agreement…Israel will become a global model for the rapid vaccination campaign.”
“At the upcoming Seder night, b’ezrat Hashem, we’ll be able to recline around the table with Saba and Savta, Aba and Ima, the children and grandchildren,” Netanyahu added. “When we’ll ask, ‘Ma Nishtaneh HaLeilah HaZeh,’ the answer will be: ‘Everything changed, we’ll ALL be reclining tonight.”
Netanyahu and Edelstein received their second doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Motzei Shabbos at Sheba Hospital at Tel HaShomer.
רה"מ נתניהו בעת קבלת המנה השנייה של החיסון בביה"ח שיבא: "נפתח את הכל – נעשה זאת באמצעות דרכון ירוק. אני צריך שאזרחי ישראל ייתנו כתף לחיסון וכתף לסגר. נצא מהקורונה ראשונים בעולם, נצא חזקים מאי פעם"#חדשותהשבת pic.twitter.com/Cj7dOyFVe3
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) January 9, 2021
The first shipment of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines arrived in Israel on Thursday afternoon. The delivery consisted of over 100,000 vaccine doses, enough for 50,00 people.
The doses will be used to vaccinate at-risk Israelis who are confined to their homes, taking advantage of the increased portability of the Moderna vaccines which can be stored in standard freezers and can be used for a longer period after thawing at room temperature than Pfizer vaccines.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)