More than two months after launching its trailblazing nationwide coronavirus vaccination campaign, Israel has yet to draw up an outline to allow hospitals to inoculate inpatients against COVID-19.
This group includes patients who have been hospitalized for an extended period of time and have either yet to be vaccinated at all or have received only the first vaccine dose before being admitted to the hospital. Many of these patients are at high risk of developing a serious illness if they were to contract the pathogen.
A survey conducted by Ynet's sister publication Yedioth Ahronoth shows that none of the country's hospitals, besides Tel Aviv's Sourasky Medical Center known as Ichilov Hospital, immunize inpatients, with the exception of specific cases.
Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery Department at Sheba Medical Center and Doctor's Association Chairman Dr. Zeev Feldman called to vaccinate inpatients who have been hospitalized for extended periods and their medical condition allows it, adding that the shot could save lives.
Dr. Esti Sayag, who oversees Sourasky Medical Center's inoculation drive, said that as part of the hospital's policies every patient who is admitted to the institution is asked whether they had been vaccinated.
Sayag added that the policy was put into place by the hospital's director and former coronavirus czar, Prof. Ronni Gamzu, and that the hospital is acting independently from the Health Ministry's guidelines.
In response to Ynet's request for comment, the Health Ministry said it was unable to allocate vaccines to hospitals since most inpatients have already been vaccinated by their healthcare providers and it could not predict how many unvaccinated patients would arrive at the hospitals.