Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu together with Health Minister Yuli Edelstein received the first doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in Israel last night at the close of the Shabbat. The event was streamed live as part of the government’s efforts to encourage the public to get vaccinated.
“It’s a small shot for a person and a huge step toward the health of us all,” the prime minister said.
Watch Netanyahu get the shot
“This is a very big day for the State of Israel,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said as he was about to receive the vaccine. “We have been experiencing over the past year the worst pandemic that humanity has known in the last 100 years and this is the beginning of the exit. We have brought millions of vaccines to our little State of Israel and everyone needs to be vaccinated. I asked to be vaccinated first with Minister Edelstein to set a personal example.”
“I think if we do this together, we will beat the corona and sooner than people expect,” he later added.
According to reports there are already about 600,000 Pfizer vaccines in the country. Israel also has a contract with Moderna and expects to receive 6 million vaccines as part of the US “Warp Speed” efforts.
Israel’s Health Ministry has indicated that priority will go to vaccinating the elderly and medical personnel. Next in line will be populations at high risk of infection such as teachers and IDF soldiers.
Although there remains some concern about the safety of the vaccination, tens of thousands of Israelis have already made appointments to get the shot at their local clinics as soon as possible