Coronavirus: Israel vaccinates citizen 1,000,000

Coronavirus: Israel vaccinates citizen 1,000,000

Israel’s one millionth citizen was vaccinated against the novel coronavirus on Friday morning in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein.“We have surpassed the whole world” when it comes to vaccinations,” the prime minister said. “We are moving forward at tremendous speed.”But in Umm al-Fahm, where the one millionth vaccine was administered, vaccination has been low.“It is important to me that the Arab public in Israel also vaccinate quickly,” Netanyahu continued. “This is important because it saves lives.”Edelstein, too, reminded the Arab public that “we are all together” in the battle against coronavirus. “There is no difference if the person being vaccinated is an ultra-Orthodox Jew or a secular Jew, whether he is Arab or a Druze or a Circassian. As long as we do not succeed in reaching high numbers of vaccinations in every society, we will not be able to open trade, culture, sports or prayers.”But several Arab leaders were not pleased with Netanyahu’s performance in the city and said it would be ineffective.”It once frightened the public that we were ‘flocking to the polls,'” tweeted MK Yousef Jabareen. “Now, ‘flocking to the vaccines’ is Netanyahu’s election propaganda. This is the same instigator, Netanyahu, who is now also seeking votes. You got the wrong address!”

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“In Umm al-Fahm, like in all of Arab society, Netanyahu is neither a guest nor welcomed,” tweeted MK Sami Abou Shahadeh, who was in the city at the same time as the prime minister. “Netanyahu’s coronavirus campaign in Arab society will fail.”

On Friday morning, the Health Ministry released that more than 150,000 people were vaccinated the day before. Israel is No. 1 per capita when it comes to vaccinations. Some 10% of the population has received the jab.

Nonetheless, the virus has not stopped spreading and health officials plan to appeal to the government to tighten restrictions next week, potentially closing up the way Israel did over Yom Kippur.There were 5,804 new cases diagnosed with coronavirus on Thursday – 5.7% of those screened tested positive. Some 1,102 people were being treated in the hospital, including 678 in serious condition.Health officials have stressed that the two-dose Pfizer vaccine regimen means that the vaccine is only fully effective about five weeks after the first dose. This means it could take until sometime in February for enough elderly and high-risk people to be vaccinated to help lower the spread of infection and begin further opening up the economy.Moreover, the risk of catching coronavirus after the first jab has been confirmed in that some 15,000 patients who received the first dose of the vaccine were screened and 428 were confirmed positive for corona. Some 12 people were even hospitalized. It is possible that some of them were exposed to the virus even before being vaccinated.“Unfortunately, for populist and political reasons, there were politicians who prevented us from doing a short, tight closure that we wanted and that would have saved hundreds of people,” Netanyahu said at the vaccination event.He called on politicians “to come to their senses.”Defense Minister Benny Gantz responded by saying that, “Enforcement and prevention in places where it is necessary prevents closures in places where they are not needed.”

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