Netanyahu gets COVID vaccine to set an example

Remigio Civitarese
Dicembre 21, 2020

Preliminary estimates show that about 10,000 medical staff members were vaccinated against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Sunday, the first day of Israel's nation-wide Operation "Lend a Shoulder" vaccination campaign.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became the first Israeli to receive the vaccine on Saturday evening, getting the jab on live TV. He is also the first sitting Prime Minister publicly known to receive the vaccine. Joining Netanyahu to vaccinate was Yudi Edelstein the Minister of Health.

Netanyahu's strategic advisor Aaron Klein last week said Israel was in a "phenomenal position" to combat the virus.

"Even though [Dr. Berkovitz] stood next to me and saw the dose, it is against the protocol of our hospital", Gomel says, explaining that the person who fills the syringe must administer the vaccine.

With daily infection numbers trending upward and now notching just under 3,000 a day, Israeli leaders are again debating whether to impose a third national lockdown since the pandemic began. Netanyahu was lauded in the spring for sealing borders and locking down the country swiftly, a move that battered the economy but drove down infection rates. Unemployment remains in the double digits.

Israel has reported more than 366,000 confirmed cases and more than 3,000 virus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Minister of Health Yudi Edelstein stated that Israel can potentially complete the first stage of vaccinations in two weeks because of its small population of 9 million people and that it has already on hand enough Pfizer vaccines to complete the first stage. They also accuse him of bungling the coronavirus crisis. Israel has tied up to buy eight million Pfizer and 60 million doses of Moderna. Netanyahu had personally reached out multiple times to Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla, boasting that at one point he was able to reach the CEO at 2 a.m.

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