“If you see your grandchildren, let it be outside in the open air, with masks,” Bennett told senior citizens.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett kicked off his campaign to encourage more vaccination among Israelis on Thursday, giving a speech specifically addressing senior citizens and meeting with social media influencers.
Bennett, who has floated the idea of a lockdown over the Jewish holidays in September on the heels of rising coronavirus cases, said that older Israelis who are not vaccinated are at especially high risk during this wave.
People over the age of 60 who have not been vaccinated with a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine are “in danger that is six times greater than someone who has been vaccinated a third time,” Bennett said.
They are “six times more susceptible to severe illness and – Heaven forbid – death,” he added.
Bennett appealed to senior citizens who are double vaccinated to stay away from “crowded places,” and avoid contact with people likely to catch the virus.
“If you see your grandchildren, let it be outside in the open air, with masks. We need to get through these two weeks until you are vaccinated [with the third dose].”
As of Thursday afternoon, the majority of Israelis hospitalized in serious condition due to the coronavirus are senior citizens who received both doses of the vaccine.
The Health Ministry reported that out of some 250 patients listed as being in serious condition, 210 were over the age of 60.
153 of them were double vaccinated, with 50 unvaccinated and 7 having received one shot of the vaccine.
There were no patients under the age of 30 listed in serious condition.
The premier also met with popular social media stars on Thursday, in an effort to push Israelis over 12 to vaccinate before the start of the new school year in September.
“My request is two-fold,” said Bennett from Facebook’s Tel Aviv offices. “One, persuade as many young people as possible aged 12 and over to get vaccinated. Two, tell everyone to go around with masks on because this is what prevents infection.”