Bennett urges vaccinations as clock ticks on Pfizer expiry date

Despite rising number of cases, health officials say hospitalization and morbidity rates not rising.

By World Israel News Staff

With the clock ticking on one million doses of Pfizer vaccines due to expire, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett urgently called on Israelis, especially youth, to get vaccinated.

“Yesterday we broke a record of several months – 18,000 Israelis were vaccinated,” the Prime Minister while visiting a Holon health clinic. “This marks a 500 percent increase within a few days, thanks to the great response of the youth and the public to the national call to get vaccinated.”

Bennett has set a goal of vaccinating 30,000 people a day for the next 10 days, which he described as “ambitious but possible.”

Israel faces the possibility of destroying one million doses of surplus doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which expire on July 30. Bennett is urging unvaccinated people to get their first jab by July 9 so that they can receive their second shot before the stock expires. Unused doses will be destroyed after they expire.

This is the same stock of surplus doses that were rejected by the Palestinian Authority earlier in June. Before the Delta variant sent Covid cases surging, Israel and the Palestinians had been negotiating a deal for their transfer.

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In more encouraging news, health officials reported that despite the rising number of Covid cases, Israel is not seeing a corresponding rise in hospitalization or morbidity rates.

According to figures released by the Ministry of Health, there were 283 new cases of Covid reported on Monday, of whom 45 required hospitalization. That’s down from the 56 cases requiring hospitalization three weeks ago.

Overall, Israel is dealing with 1,537 active coronavirus cases.

The Ministry of Health issued a new regulation requiring Israelis leaving the country to sign a declaration that they will not visit the countries currently designated “red” for their especially severe outbreaks, which are India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina and Russia. Anyone visiting those countries faces heavy fines.

Under the Health Ministry’s traffic light system, the Israeli communities of Kfar Saba, Binyamina, Kochav Yair and Zufim are designated red for their high infection rates.

With less severe numbers, Modiin is the only city labeled orange; Tel Aviv, Modiin, Herzliya, Ramle and Pardes Hanna are designated yellow.