JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Israel is leading the world in terms of ratio of vaccinations to the entire population, with only tiny Bahrain ahead of Israel in the number of vaccinations administered. During the first week of vaccinations Israel vaccinated 280,000 people, some 3% of the entire population. In comparison, some 700,000 people have been vaccinated in Britain, representing 1% of the population, even though the UK started its vaccination campaign more than a week earlier than Israel.
On Saturday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement laying out an ambitious plan on how to administer coronavirus vaccines to the nation’s citizens.
“We are starting the week with gigantic news,” said the prime minister, continuing, “I spoke over the weekend with the heads of the companies that are providing us with the vaccines and I told them that our goal by next weekend is to reach 150,000 vaccines a day.
“This is fantastic and such a magnitude is a world record. I asked them to match the rate at which the vaccines are supplied to the pace of the inoculations and they said that they think they can do it.”
According the prime minister, “Within 30 days of reaching this pace we will have vaccinated 4.5 million citizens. Since everyone needs two injections, after one month we will have vaccinated 2.25 million Israeli citizens. There is nothing like this in the world.”
Netanyahu referred to this period as “the critical stage” during which Israel would attempt to vaccinate the “at risk” population, which he identified as “medical teams” and “people over 60.”
With 95% of Israel’s coronavirus mortality affecting this group, Netanyahu predicted that vaccinating these populations would mean that Israel “can emerge from the coronavirus, open the economy and do things that no other country can do” within 30 days.
“Afterward, another 4.5 million will come … but this is the critical stage and we can accomplish it,” added Netanyahu.
Israeli political pundit Amit Segal claimed that Israel had paid almost twice as much as the US and the EU in order to receive the vaccines earlier but said that this decision “deserves the Israel Prize”, since the cost of the vaccinations is marginal compared to the economic cost of a lengthy closure and the vaccinations will enable a “dramatic decrease in infections” after two million people are vaccinated which will occur by the end of January.
Segal lauded the vaccination campaign, stating that it has “removed the danger of death from over quarter a million Israelis, by vaccinating almost 100,000 people per day despite the difficult conditions required for maintaining vaccines and without one vaccine being wasted.”