Israel leads coronavirus vaccine race with 12% given jab

Israel began vaccinations on 19 December and is delivering jabs to about 150,000 people a day, with priority given to the over-60s, health workers and people who are clinically vulnerable.

It secured supplies of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine following negotiations early on in the pandemic. It is contacting people with priority access to the vaccine through its health care system – by law all Israelis must register with a recognised health care provider.

Israel has safely subdivided shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, which must be stored at -70C, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein told YNet TV news. This means smaller batches of the vaccine can be sent out to remote communities.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is campaigning for re-election, has predicted Israel could emerge from the pandemic as early as February. It is currently in its third national lockdown.

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