Netanyahu: ‘We’re at the beginning of the end of the pandemic’

“The approval has allowed us to get [vaccination] underway,” Netanyahu said. “We’re at the beginning of the end of the pandemic.”

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday that Israel is poised to begin a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign, signaling the “beginning of the end of the pandemic” in the Jewish state.

During a tour of the Maccabi Health Fund’s newly constructed vaccination complex in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu said the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine paved the way for its widespread use in Israel.

“The approval has allowed us to get [vaccination] underway,” he said. “We’re at the beginning of the end of the pandemic.”

The projected start date for widespread administration of the vaccine is December 27th, but Netanyahu suggested that it may begin earlier.

“The ability of the HMOs to fulfill this mission [of administering the vaccine] may mean that we can move up the start date of the vaccination campaign, putting us in what I believe is one of the best situations of any country in the world,” he said.

Netanyahu added that even with the vaccination campaign starting, Israelis should still follow Health Ministry guidelines and continue practicing social distancing.

“Otherwise, we’ll pay with deaths, and tragedies, and seriously ill patients,” he warned.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said, “We’re in advanced preparation stages here. It could be that the vaccinations will start earlier. Maybe as early as next week, we will be able to start vaccinating the medical staff.”

Edelstein also blasted news reports that Israel is not ready to begin mass vaccinations. “We will have to fight fake news a lot more,” he said.

“We have seen reports that things [for the vaccination campaign] are missing. These are just rumors. Nothing is missing. In the coming days, we will announce that Israel is one of the first countries in the world to start [mass] vaccination,” he said.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in Israel in February 2020, some 356,000 Israelis were infected with the virus.

The Jewish state’s death toll stands at 2,983.