Israel's world-leading COVID-19 inoculation drive will expand to include citizens aged 50 and over starting Wednesday after a large shipment of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine arrived in the country, the Health Ministry announced on Tuesday.
The ministry said that citizens wishing to get vaccinated must make an appointment through their healthcare provider.
Citizens reported problems setting up an appointment since some providers did not make the option available on their apps and others struggled to make appointments through the phone.
The vaccination campaign was expanded to include citizens aged 55 and over on Tuesday, prioritizing workers of the education system who must continue showing up at the workplace despite the country's general lockdown.
Head of Clalit's central District Erez Levy told Ynet that the country's health maintenance organizations (HMOs) can withstand the massive demand for the shot.
"There are enough vaccines for the target groups and education workers," Levy said from an inoculation center in Rishon Lezion. "We expect that about 600-800 educators will come to this compound each day. The response is amazing and according to the discussions with the Health Ministry, we will receive additional supplies soon and we will be able to push on."
Levy noted that Clalit works in full cooperation with local authorities in hopes of reaching the Education Ministry's goal of inoculating all teachers for coronavirus within the next three days.
Although the inoculation campaign for education workers was launched on Tuesday, many teachers have already received the vaccine through smaller local drives. Reportedly, some 65% of workers in the special education system were vaccinated for COVID-19 before Tuesday.
The Health Ministry announced Tuesday morning that 20.9% of the Israeli population has already received the first dose of the vaccine so far, amounting to 1,854,055 people, 21,611 of them received the first of two jabs on Sunday alone.
Healthcare providers also began on Sunday to administer the vaccine's booster shot, which is supposed to provide 95% immunity from the virus after about a week.
A week after getting the booster shot, citizens will be issued a document, dubbed "the green passport", allowing them to travel freely around the country and attend mass events, among other privileges.