Israel's largest hospital, Sheba Medical Center, announced on Thursday it was prepared to start vaccinating staff for COVID-19 as soon as next week.
Pending the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the hospital simulated the inoculation of its personnel with Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine, the first shipment of which arrived in Israel on Wednesday and another was slated to arrive on Thursday.
"It is very important that the public sees that medical teams are getting vaccinated," Sheba Associate Director General Prof. Arnon Afek said. "We may begin administering the vaccines as early as next week, it depends on how many doses we receive. The fact that the State of Israel is among the first to receive the vaccines is a great and important achievement."
Thanks to our broad logistical capabilities, we can vaccinate all our employees, assuming, of course, we get enough vaccines."
Prof. Afek called the simulation a "dress rehearsal to check that all systems are functioning."
During a staff briefing, Sheba Deputy Director and Director of Nursing Dr. Amir Grinberg told medical teams the infrastructure for the distribution of the shot was up and running. The hospital expects to vaccinate close to 550 workers a day.
Head of the Infectious Disease Unit Prof Galia Rahav said that the operation will not include pregnant women, people with an acute allergic response and those who have already beaten COVID-19.