After the corona vaccination campaign in Israel began with an enormous rush, the world vaccination champion is now making slower progress on the way to herd immunity. Therefore, the Israeli government wants to keep vaccination centers full with new incentives and ideas, but also with pressure, as reported by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”.
In Bnei Brak, an ultra-orthodox suburb of Tel Aviv, it was possible to convince 3,800 people of an unusual offer: In addition to a free plate of the traditional Tscholent stew or a pizza the next day, there was also a vaccination from the companies Biontech / Pfizer as a “dessert “. With this campaign, the Israeli government is responding to the below-average vaccination rates among the ultra-Orthodox and Arab populations.
In addition to the younger population, they are also among those who are more reluctant to vaccinate. While 90 percent of those over 60 and 73 percent of 40 to 60 year olds have already been vaccinated, the figure is only around 50 percent in the 16 to 40 age group. For herd immunity, however, around 70 percent of the nine million Israelis would have to be vaccinated, with the exception of the 2.5 million under 16-year-olds.
For the almost four million people who have received the first vaccination and 2.5 million who have already received the two vaccinations, a so-called “green passport” is also being discussed. This is to guarantee vaccinated people exclusive access to concerts, sporting events, hotels, restaurants, shopping centers and fitness studios. This offer is intended to convince young people in particular of a vaccination.
The Green Pass will be introduced as early as next week. There is also a debate about compulsory vaccination. Israeli Health Minister Juli Edelstein threatens vaccination refusals with compulsory testing every two days. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also wants to enact a law that will allow the names of unvaccinated people to be reported to local authorities.