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Target: 5 million vaccines by end of March

A shipment of about 100,000 vaccine doses from the Pfizer company is expected to arrive in Israel today, Yisrael Hayom reported.

More shipments are expected to arrive this week, probably up to half a million doses. In total, about 5 million vaccines will arrive by the end of March.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein announced this morning that 1,817,000 people have received the first vaccine dose so far.

The vaccination campaign will enter its next phase this week as medical staff, teachers, and citizens will begin to receive the second vaccine dose.

The operation to vaccinate teaching staff will be called “Shoulder for Education” and the Health Ministry has instructed the HMO to prepare for it.

It is estimated that the Pfizer vaccines which arrived today will reach the HMOs on Tuesday, will begin to be distributed on Wednesday, and will be used up by Friday.

The Education Ministry will transfer ID numbers of teaching staff to the Health Ministry and the HMOs so that they can be summoned. Special education teachers will likely receive priority as the first teachers to be vaccinated.

However, while the teaching staff employed by the Education Ministry are covered under the current plan, it is unclear who is responsible for ensuring that teaching assistants and other staff employed by the local authorities are vaccinated.

Despite the expected campaign to vaccinate teachers, the teachers’ union threat to suspend studies for special education beginning Tuesday remains in effect.

Union leader Yaffa Ben-David is demanding that the current lockdown be taken advantage of in order to immediately vaccinate the other teaching staff as well.

“As long as the teaching staff are not actually vaccinated, the labor dispute remains in effect. When all the teaching staff are vaccinated, we will respond to the execution and not the decision.”

At the same time, day care centers such as Naamat, WIZO and Smart Start claim that they are not included in the priority for the distribution of vaccines.

“This is a scandal, this is an inconceivable omission,” said Naamat chairwoman Hagit Peer. “These are teaching staff who are more exposed to morbidity than any other teacher. They are in close contact with toddlers. It’s spitting in the face of early childhood educators.”

Meanwhile, Coronavirus Czar Prof. Nachman Ash, received the second vaccine dose this morning. “I am excited today. We are in the midst of a large and successful vaccination campaign and are at the start of the second vaccine. I am pleased with the public response, and call on the target populations to continue to be vaccinated.”

Source: Arutz Sheva