Israel vaccinates at record speed: more than 150,000 vaccinations are administered within 24 hours. One million of the total of nine million Israelis have already received the first dose of vaccine, reports the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. At this rate, a large part of the population could be immunized by March.
Israel as “World Vaccination Champion”
In the race between infection and vaccination, the Israeli government spreads confidence. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, has already declared his country the world champion in vaccination and is cheering: “The whole world is amazed at Israel”, writes the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. In fact, Israel is well placed to lead the way in overcoming the pandemic. Particularly advantageous: Israel is a country with a small area and a manageable population. In addition, the country has a well-organized health system with four state health insurance companies that jointly carry out the vaccination campaign.
The vaccination started in Israel on December 19th. After the head of government was vaccinated, the medical staff was vaccinated. Now everyone who has been defined as a risk group follows. In addition to those with previous illnesses, this includes all citizens who are 60 years of age and older. In total, more than two million people belong to this first group. The vaccination centers are then to be opened to all Israelis.
A race against time – in two ways
The Israeli Ministry of Health has now announced that it will probably have to take a two-week break in January for new vaccinations. The reason for this is that the current supplies would be used for those who receive the second vaccination three weeks after the first vaccination.
However, Israel will have more than enough vaccine doses in the long run. This is mainly due to the fact that the pharmaceutical company Pfizer supplied the country with a comparatively high number of vaccine doses right from the start. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, at least four million cans should be available by the end of January. Large quantities of vaccine were also ordered but not yet delivered by the companies Moderna and Astra Zeneca. In total, Israel would have 24 million doses of vaccine available – in the long term, a comfortable oversupply.
For Netanyahu personally, too, the vaccination campaign is a race against time. Because on March 23, there will be an early election. Until then, the vaccination successes should make the previous chaos in the fight against pandemic forget, so the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. No wonder then that the head of government personally prepared a state reception for the first cargo plane carrying vaccines. And of course he was the first in the country to be vaccinated – in front of the cameras at prime time.