As Israel enters a third strict lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there will be enough vaccines to inoculate all citizens over the age of 16 by the end of March, according to a report.
“We will be the first country to emerge from the coronavirus,” Netanyahu said Thursday night, the Jerusalem Post reported. “We will vaccinate all relevant populations and anyone who wants to can be vaccinated.”
He said another shipment of vaccines is expected to arrive Sunday, with many more to follow, adding that an agreement was struck with Pfizer to send more doses, and faster, transforming Israel into a “model nation” for how to beat the outbreak.
“This is a breakthrough that will take us out of the coronavirus crisis and return us to life,” Netanyahu said, according to the news outlet. “This is how we will open the economy, go back to work, to the synagogue… to the lives that we love and miss.”
He added that Israel will “share with Pfizer and humanity as a whole the statistics that will help develop strategies to defeat the virus. We can do this because our health system is one of the most advanced in the world.”
The Health Ministry later clarified that only “general data” will be provided to Pfizer, including data on pandemic morbidity. No personal data will be released, it said.
Netanyahu said he had spoken with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla 17 times, including in the last day, the Jerusalem Post reported.
On Thursday morning, health officials said that 1,590,000 Israelis had received their first jabs – about 17 percent of the population.
The latest lockdown, which began Friday, will last at least two weeks.
Israel PM Netanyahu says all citizens over 16 will be vaccinated by end of March The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ New York Post.