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Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Israel.

Image Credit: Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

On Wednesday, the first doses of vaccines arrived by flight in Israel from Brussels. Around 3000-4000 doses have arrived. The Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer/BioNtech.

The PM Benjamin Netanyahu gave a speech at Ben Gurion airport, where the DHL.plane carrying the vaccine arrived. He said that he will be the first to take the vaccine to encourage others to vaccinate themselves.

What’s important to me is that people of Israel get vaccinated. I believe in this vaccine. I want the people of Israel to get vaccinated and so I will be first.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

The PM also added that is one of the most exciting time of his career as PM.

I have been the prime minister of Israel for quite a few years, and this is one of the most exciting moments. I worked hard for long months with the Health Ministry and other organizations to find a solution to the pandemic and now you see the forklift unloading the first vaccines of millions that will come for the people of Israel.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

This shipment of vaccine doses is considered to be a testing phase in how to transit the storage of vaccines, which must be kept at -70°C and used within five days. The Health Ministry informed the Health maintenance organizations that December 20 is the target for the start of vaccinations.

Israel is currently dealing with a rapid spread of infection as the surge in cases is threatening the health care system. A number of measures were introduced to attempt to curb the spread of the virus, most recently, localized lockdowns on the towns of Musmus and Zalafa due to the high infection rate. The Health Ministry is also trying to enforce a threshold of when more measures will be introduced. It’s proposal is that once there will be 2000 cases a day, expected to be reached by next week, all open-air markets, malls and stores will be closed. Some believe a third lockdown is possible, if cases continue to increase.

Lockdowns have severly affected Israeli’s economy even though it managed to reduce the number of cases frok the peak of 9,000 in September. Recently, reports revealed that poverty has increased by 50% since the beginning of the pandemic. Around 250,000 households in Israel are living in poverty. The report issued by Latent nonprofit revealed that those households that live in poverty has risen from 20.1% to 29.3% this year.

Israel reported a total of 348,968 cases and 2,932 deaths since the pandemic began.

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