Almost 380,000 Israelis were vaccinated during the first eight days of the country’s inoculation operation, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said on Monday, making Israel the country with the highest proportion of vaccine recipients per capita in the world.
Some 169,000 of those received the first of two doses over the weekend.
The highest number of people injected with the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine came on Sunday, with over 98,000 individuals inoculated, Edelstein said.
According to data, Israel has inoculated 4.37 per 100 people in the total population, as of December 27.
The country’s stated goal for daily inoculations is 150,000.
With Israel entering its third national COVID-19 lockdown, and as it readies for its next round of elections in March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Saturday night that if the country maintains its current pace of vaccinations, some 2.25 million people, or close to 25% of the country’s 9.1 million residents, will be inoculated by the end of January.
According to the prime minister, in conversations with the heads of the vaccine providers, “I asked them to match the rate at which the vaccines are supplied to the pace of the inoculations, and they said that they think they can do it.”
Prof. Jonathan Halevy, president of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, said he believes the government. “They have delivered the goods. I don’t see any reason we will not reach this number,” he said.
“It is a game-changer. I don’t know if we will reach 150,000 per day, but 100,000 we will readily reach. I can see 2 million people inoculated in January,” he said.
“If we vaccinate 2 million people in a month and there are already some 1 million Israelis – though statistics say about 400,000 – who have or had coronavirus, we are in good shape to reach herd immunity for the population, which I would say is somewhere in the 60% -70% range,” Halevy said.
Story written by Joshua Shuman. Reprinted with permission by The Media Line.