Israeli PM Netanyahu receives COVID vaccine on live television (Video)

Last Updated: Sunday, 20 December 2020 (10:38 IST)
TEL AVIV: Prime Minister Benjamin became the first Israeli to get vaccinated against the disease with a Pfizer-BioNTech shot, which was broadcast live on national television.

“This is a great day for the State of Israel. We have been fighting for almost a year against the most severe pandemic humanity has known in 100 years. By the end of the month, there will be millions of vaccines here, and additional millions will come afterward. I have asked to be vaccinated first, together with Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, in order to serve as a personal example and to encourage all of you to be vaccinated,” Netanyahu said upon arrival at Sheba Medical Center.
The prime minister was then invited for a preliminary medical examination.
“This moment is very moving. On the way here, I thought about the children who are worrying about their parents, about the grandchildren who want to give their grandparents a real hug,” Netanyahu noted.
The process of inoculation was also broadcast live. The physician who administered the vaccine said it was the first ampule to be opened in Israel.
Edelstein, the management and 50 employees of the Sheba Medical Center were vaccinated right after Netanyahu. Mass vaccination of Israeli citizens will start on Sunday.
President Reuven Rivlin is expected to get vaccinated on Sunday at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center.
Persons aged over 60 and high-risk groups of people will receive the vaccine during the second phase of the first vaccination stage. Teachers, kindergarten assistants, social workers, prison staff and prisoners are expected to be vaccinated next.
The first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against arrived in last week. In total, the Israeli government has signed a deal for 8 million doses of the vaccine, which is already being used in the United Kingdom. Israel has also concluded deals with other developers, including the US firm, Moderna, for other candidate vaccines.

Clinical trials for Israel’s domestically produced vaccine against COVID-19 began in early November. On December 14, Israel successfully completed phase one of the trials and plans to start phase two in the coming days.