Israel says to begin Covid vaccinations on December 27

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel would start COVID-19 vaccinations from December 27, after receiving its first batch of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.

“The first vaccinations will be given on December 27,” he said in a press conference, noting the public health service would be capable of administering 60,000 inoculations a day.

Earlier in the day, the first batch of Pfizer’s eight million coronavirus vaccine doses landed in Israel.

“Tomorrow another shipment is arriving, a much larger one,” Netanyahu said.

“I’m asking that every Israeli citizen be vaccinated, and to do so, requested to set an example and be the first person being vaccinated in Israel,” he said, repeating a similar statement from earlier in the day, but not saying when that might take place.

Netanyahu also said the health ministry was working on developing a “green passport”.

“Whoever receives a vaccination will be able to show a certificate or application that would enable entry to events, malls and all kinds of services.

“This will encourage vaccinations and help return us to normalcy quickly,” he said.

The virus has infected 349,916 Israelis, 2,934 of them fatally, according to a Wednesday update.

While reiterating the need to keep up with “masks, distancing, hygiene and preventing gatherings,” Netanyahu was nonetheless upbeat.

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