Israel vaccinates 1.9 million, reducing age limit for shot to 55 and over

Israel’s goal is to vaccinate its entire population by March. 

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Israel continues to vaccinate at a record-setting clip. The Health Ministry reported 1,876,,388 Israelis have been vaccinated against the coronavirus on Monday.

The Health Ministry says those ages 55 and over will be vaccinated starting on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday to welcome a fresh batch of vaccines from Pfizer. Netanyahu said the rate of vaccinations will increase to 170,000 per day.

On Jan. 7, Israel became the first country to completely vaccinate all residents and employees of elder-care and assisted-living facilities.

Israel’s goal is to vaccinate its entire population by March.

Israel has received praise for its vaccine rollout and is being sought for advice by other countries. Minister Edelstein spoke with his British counterpart, Matt Hancock, recently and advised him to brig the vaccine to the people, N12 reports.

“Do not place a huge immunization station in the middle of your city and wait for people to come,” Edelstein said. “Try to get as far as them – if not to their homes, at least to the residential areas. To the suburbs, to the small towns”

All is not roses for Israel. Simultaneously with its vaccination drive, it faces a spike in cases. It has been forced to institute a strict two-week lockdown starting last Friday at midnight. The rate of positive cases remains high, reported at 7.4% as of Monday morning.

The number of serious cases is 1,044 with 251 of them on respirators. A total of 3,671 Israelis died since the outbreak of the plague.

Israeli officials the exit from the lockdown will be gradual. It will be determined by the rate of infections and the number of critically ill patients. The situation will be evaluated at the end of the current week, Health officials say.