Israel is scheduled to start a mass vaccination campaign against the novel coronavirus on December 27, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late on Wednesday.
“We will start the first vaccinations on December 27 – in two and a half weeks …. Israel is ready to make 60,000 vaccinations per day, and this is a huge figure, “Netanyahu said in a speech, broadcast by Israeli TV channels.
The country’s health authorities will grant the so-called green passport for those inoculated to allow them to move freely, the prime minister added, noting that he plans to get vaccinated first.
Earlier in the day, a plane carrying the first doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine aboard landed at the Ben Gurion airport. In mid-November, Netanyahu announced the signing of a contract with Pfizer to secure two-dose jabs for 4 million of its citizens.
Apart from the contract with Pfizer, Israel also has deals with US biotechnology company Moderna and other vaccine manufacturers. In addition, the country launched clinical trials of its own vaccine in November. Phase 3 is scheduled for April-May.
Earlier, Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center, one of Israel’s most authoritative medical facilities, said it had ordered 1.5 million doses of Russian-made coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, with the deliveries pending the ministry’s approval. If the ministry refuses authorization, Hadassah plans to use the vaccine in its foreign branches.