The Israel Defense Forces is apparently considering a plan to make the coronavirus vaccination mandatory for all its soldiers.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week that Israel will begin administrating coronavirus vaccinations on December 27 and that Israel was ready to vaccinate 60,000 people a day. Thousands of doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Israel last week via special charter flights.
Military officials are set to hold a discussion on the issue with the Chief Military Prosecutor and the Chief Medical Officer, with the main obstacle appearing to be a concern on how the vaccine will affect the troops' performance.
If approved, the decision will be precedent-setting since neither flu vaccinations nor blood donations are mandated by any official military command.
If it will not be approved, the IDF is still expected to strongly encourage the soldiers to get vaccinated by offering perks and benefits, with senior commanders set to be the first to get the shot in an effort to lead by example.
"The IDF is currently preparing to vaccinate its servicepeople against coronavirus," the military said in a statement. "The vaccination campaign will be conducted by professionals in the Technology and Logistics Division in coordination with the Health Ministry. An orderly announcement on the matter will be issued to IDF personnel prior to the start of the vaccination campaign."
The IDF has seen an increase in COVID-19 infection rate in the past two weeks, with 222 confirmed carriers as of Monday morning. The condition of two servicemembers is defined as moderate, with the rest having mild symptoms. At least 3,250 soldiers are currently in self-isolation.