Covid-19: Paralyzed by Covid-19, Israel claims to be the first country to be vaccinated to get to safety | Zoom Fintech
TEL AVIV – Israel claims to be the first nation to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic by vaccinating the majority of its population in an attempt to get back to normal.
The country currently leads the global immunization burden: it delivered a dose of immunization to more than 10 percent of its 9 million citizens in two weeks.
This is a significantly higher proportion than any other country, according to Our World in Data, a collaboration between researchers at the University of Oxford and the nonprofit Global Change Data Lab.
Israel has vaccinated more than 150,000 people for three consecutive days last week, and on Friday the millionth person received an injection of a Pfizer–BioNTech dose. The country has now vaccinated more than half of the 2 million people at risk it considers a high protection priority.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who on December 19 became the first person in Israel to receive an injection, described the Middle Eastern country as the “vaccine champion” and said he was “ahead” of the world.
“Maybe we will be the first country in the world to emerge from this coronavirus, and this is very good news for all of us,” the longtime Israeli leader said on Tuesday, anxious to amplify the positive message in a country that has been brought to a standstill by the coronavirus.
Boaz Lev, head of the Israeli Ministry of Health’s advisory committee for coronavirus vaccines, attributes the country’s success to its highly organized health system, early contracts with vaccine manufacturers, and government efforts to combat the anti-vaccination misinformation, among other factors.
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Israel has also been successful in repackaging the vaccines, allowing them to be transported to small and remote places such as nursing homes, rather than forcing people to visit a limited number of vaccination centers, according to the ministry.
“I really hope we will be the first country to be vaccinated. I hope the whole world will follow, ”Lev told NBC News. “And this is not a race against other countries. It’s a race against the virus, so in this race everyone wants to win, and I really hope we get there as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, some 700 reserve soldiers are called in to help speed up the pace of the vaccination campaign, while the IDF is among the first in the world to begin vaccinating its military, according to a spokesperson for the Forces of the United Nations. Israeli defense.
The country’s rapid success is also probably partly due to the number of vaccines it has managed to acquire relative to its population, deals apparently negotiated in part by Netanyahu himself.
“We have brought millions of vaccines here, more than any other country in the world relative to the population,” he added. “And we brought them to everyone: Jews and Arabs, religious and laity. Anyone can and should be vaccinated.
And there is a long way to go. Israel registered 3,977 new positives Covid-19 case on Sunday, and the country has not yet administered the second Pfizer dose – which is needed to ensure immunity – to every 1 million people who have received an injection so far.
Nonetheless, Israel is way ahead of the curve as countries scramble to recover limited vaccine stocks and immunize their populations. Countries around the world can watch in awe – and envy.
In the United States, officials have struggled with the vaccine rollout, blaming everything from snowstorms and vacations to storage issues and general inexperience. NBC News analysis on Tuesday found that at current rates, it would take nearly 10 years to vaccinate enough Americans to bring the pandemic under control.
However, Israel, which is only a fraction of the size of the United States, might find it easier to immunize its population than the United States, one of the largest countries in the world with over 330 million people. .
Low- and middle-income countries are also at a disadvantage. COVAX, an initiative linked to the World Health Organization to ensure equitable access to vaccines for all countries regardless of income, said last month that it plans to allow 190 participating countries to access at doses during the first half of 2021.
Israel’s Palestinian neighbors, for example, currently have no access to a vaccine, which means Israelis could return to normal life even if the virus continues to plague Palestinian towns and villages a few miles away. .
Palestinian Authority Health Minister Mai Alkaila said Monday that health organizations in the territory were “concerned about the low vaccination rate in Arab society.”
Palestinians living under Israeli control in the occupied West Bank and Gaza are not included in the vaccination campaign, sparking criticism that Israel is failing to meet its legal obligations.
If successful, the ambitious vaccination campaign will likely give Netanyahu a boost ahead of Israel’s fourth election in less than two years, slated for late March. The vote is an unprecedented threat to the prime minister’s long-standing grip on power, and comes as Netanyahu’s corruption trial is set to shift into high gear in February.
Israel’s longest-serving prime minister is charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three long-standing corruption cases.