Israel has started on Thursday to vaccinate hundreds of Airports Authority employees against coronavirus despite not meeting the criteria set by the Health Ministry for the shot.
While Israel has already vaccinated over 800,000 people, as per the ministry’s instructions, only hospital staffers, high-risk groups and citizens aged 60 and over were supposed to get inoculated against the pathogen at this stage.
The employees, around 400 in number, received permission from the state to get vaccinated after the head of the airport workers' union, Pinchas Idan, demand an inoculation drive for union members on the grounds they served as essential workers.
"We sought to get vaccinated since last week and we finally got the approval on Wednesday,” Idan said. “[The employees] meet hundreds of Israelis every day who come from abroad, this puts them at the forefront.”
Last week, Airports Authority Director-General Yaakov Ganot also launched a similar demand to the Health Ministry to vaccinate his employees and other operators working at the airport.
"Airport workers have been in close contact with the thousands who fly to and from Israel every day since the beginning of the crisis," reasoned Ganot.
Transportation Minister Miri Regev also sought to approve vaccines for those working in the transportation industry - including public transport drivers, Airports Authority workers and seaport workers.
In a meeting between the director-generals of the transportation and health ministries, both parties approved vaccinations for all workers in the industry.