Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 72, became the first Israeli to receive the Pfizer vaccine for coronavirus on Saturday evening, followed immediately by Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, 62.
The two received the vaccine on Saturday evening at Sheba Medical Center, Israel's largest hospital.
"One small vaccination for man, one giant leap for mankind's health," Netanyahu said as he received the vaccine from his personal physician, Dr. Tzvi Berkowitz.
The vaccinations were broadcast live to "encourage the Israeli public to get vaccinated," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
President Reuven Rivlin will be vaccinated on Sunday, when the country's hospital staff and health professionals will also start receiving the inoculation.
Health officials estimate that Israel could be the first country in the world to vaccinate its at-risk population as it launched its inoculation drive Saturday evening.
From Monday, the elderly and at-risk population will be able to be vaccinated at their local HMO after setting an appointment with their doctor.
According to Channel 12, Israel may be the first country in the world to complete a nation-wide immunization of all of its at-risk population.
This is due to the relatively small population of the country, which currently stands at just over 9 million, compared to the high ratio of vaccines per capita that it already has on hand and is expected to receive in the coming weeks.
Edelstein told Channel 12 that Israel could complete the first round of vaccinations for those at risk in about two weeks.
They will then have to return for a second injection 21 days later, which means Israel could complete immunization of its at-risk populations by the end of January.
First published: 19:55, 12.19.20