Israel's much-praised, high-speed coronavirus vaccination campaign appeared to show signs of slowing Tuesday as the country's second largest HMO announced it was halting the delivery of first doses from next week.
Maccabi Healthcare Services said it will not make new appointments for virus vaccines beyond January 16 until supply is replenished. Israel is set to receive another mass shipment of the Pfizer vaccine in February and of the Moderna vaccine sometime in March.
"Those who have not made an appointment before January 16 will no longer be able to get vaccinated with the first dose until another shipment arrives in Israel," said Dr. Angela Urbani, head of the Sharon district at Maccabi, told Ynet.
The HMO said it has enough supply to administer the second dose to those who had received the first jab.
Shortly after, Clalit HMO also said they have paused the delivery of first coronavirus vaccine doses until they get more supply.
U.S. drugmaker Moderna Inc said on Monday that Israel's health authorities had authorized its COVID-19 vaccine, marking the vaccine’s third regulatory authorization in the world and the first outside North America.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, however, tried to cool the public's enthusiasm, saying the authorization does not mean the planned mass shipment from the drugmaker will arrive sooner, although Moderna is set to ship 100,000 doses sometime next week.
Meuhedet HMO also said they are running out of the supply, while Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, which conducted an unothorized vaccination campaign at Rabin Square for teachers, has halted the inoculations due to the lack of supply.