Israel may receive up to four million doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine by the end of December — enough for two million people — and the Health Ministry is preparing health maintenance organizations for the possibility of inoculating some 80,000 Israelis every day, Israeli TV networks report.
The vaccines may start arriving next week, though they will still not be used as they have not yet received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, Channel 12 news reports.
Health officials are weighing whether to give approval to the vaccine before the FDA does, potentially allowing Israel to begin distributing shots, Channel 13 says.
Such a development could see a significant chunk of Israel’s population vaccinated by January — a far more optimistic projection than previously assumed.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is holding a consultation on the issue of rising morbidity with the Minister of Health, the head of the National Security Council, the director general of the Ministry of Health, the Coronavirus Czar and other senior officials. The Coronavirus Cabinet will convene next week.
Among the topics of discussion at tonight’s consultation is the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, which could begin arriving in Israel as early as next week.
Israel is considering immediately approving the Pfizer vaccine, even before the United States does.
Four million vaccine doses will arrive in Israel in the coming days and will be given to citizens only after the approval of the US Federal Drug Administration, which is expected to be received on Wednesday. Immediately afterwards, the vaccinations will begin to be distributed to Israel’s citizens.
Earlier, Health Ministry Director General Prof. Hezi Levi warned that rising morbidity rates could lead to the reinstatement of restrictions and even a third lockdown.
“There is an increase in morbidity in the general sector as well. We are seeing more red cities and more yellow cities. 26 red cities and 28 yellow cities are responsible for 40% of the morbidity,” Prof. Levi said.
Prof. Levi said that all restrictions are being considered, including the possibility of imposing a lockdown over Hanukkah and even a night curfew. “We are definitely considering whether to move forward in the six-step plan, and whether or not to move – in the worst-case scenario – backwards.”
Source: Arutz Sheva