“This is a very great day for the State of Israel,” declared Netanyahu. “This is a small shot for a man, and a huge step for the health of us all.”
By Aryeh Savir, TPS
Israel on Saturday night kicked off Operation “Lend a Shoulder,” a nation-wide process to inoculate the population against the Coronavirus (COVID-19), one of the first countries in the world to do so.
The first to receive the Pfizer-developed shot were Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein, who were inoculated in a live broadcast.
“This is a very great day for the State of Israel,” declared Netanyahu.
Israel has been “fighting for almost a year against the most severe pandemic that 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.”
He was vaccinated first “to serve as a personal example and to encourage all of you to be vaccinated. We can exit this together and we will soon get started. I believe in this vaccine. Tens of thousands of people have received it successfully. The best scientists have approved it. We can get underway.”
After the shot, Netanyahu said that “this is a small shot for a man, and a huge step for the health of us all.”
“If everybody cooperates, both in strictly adhering to the rules and in being vaccinated, we will emerge from this and it is very likely that Israel will be the first country in the world to do so,” he estimated.
Edelstein noted that on this date, December, in 1984 his trial took place in the USSR “because of his desire to immigrate to Israel.”
“Today, December 19, 2020, I have a great privilege to be Minister of Health in the Israeli government. Friends, there are reasons for optimism,” he stated.
The health teams in hospitals will begin to receive the vaccine on Sunday and senior citizens over the age of 60 will have access to it on Monday.
Israel has signed contracts with Pfizer and Moderna and expects to receive enough units to inoculate the entire population.
Hundreds of thousands of units have already arrived in the country and millions more will arrive in the coming days, the Ministry of Health stated,
At a rate of some 60,000 shots a day, the government hopes that some two million Israelis will receive the shot by the end of January.
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