The Health Ministry announced Monday the national coronavirus vaccination campaign is being expanded to include Israelis over the age of 55 and older.
The campaign will be officially expanded from Tuesday and those wishing to get vaccinated must make an appointment through their HMOs.
On Sunday, a mass shipment of the Pfizer vaccine landed at Ben Gurion Airport, which will allow the inoculation campaign to pick up pace once again. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week he believes the majority of Israelis will be able to get vaccinated by March.
"The operation [vaccination campaign] will be expanded following the arrival of additional vaccine shipments to Israel. Starting Tuesday, January 12, those aged 55 and over, who are ensured through HMOs, will be able to get vaccinated. The HMOs should be contacted in order to schedule an appointment," said the Health Ministry in a statement.
The HMOs, however, said they had not been informed of the decision before the announcement, while those who tried to make an appointment were told it's not possible at the moment. "The ministry did not coordinate with us the announcement. Too bad," said an official at one of the health funds.
"I am 57 years old and now I checked, and it is not possible to book an appointment," one person told Ynet. "Not at Maccabi, not at Clalit."
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said 49,897 Israelis on Sunday became the first citizens to receive their second coronavirus vaccine shots. So far, 1,870,652 people received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Those who received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine will receive the second dose after 21 days, while those who received the Moderna jab will wait at least another week. In either case, only a week after receiving the second shot, the vaccine is said to be "working".