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‘This is a decision that deserves the Israel Prize’

Channel 12 News revealed that Israel pays about $30 for each COVID-19 vaccine, double the price paid in the European Union and ten dollars more than the price of the vaccine in the United States.

Commentator Amit Segal said in Ulpan Shishi that “if this is the price, $15 per shot, because of which we received the first doses in the world, then this is a decision that deserves the Israel Prize. For the following simple reason: A week of lockdown, at the lowest estimate, costs three billion shekels [930 Million USD].”

“This thing that gives us priority of many months… in Germany, where some of the vaccines were developed, gets after us, the United States is crawling, so is Britain.”

According to Amit Segal, “If you can finish this story in two months, or at least dramatically reduce it, then it’s worth paying not $30 but $100 and getting all those doses.”

He directed a barb at critical voices heard in recent days: “I think people got confused between critically looking at life and critique as a way of life. Critical observation says you look at things, sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad, but the obsessive whining of constantly looking at the black. When they don’t come to get vaccinated then they’re ‘afraid to get vaccinated’, and when they do come then ‘there are queues’. This week will be commemorated in the history of the State of Israel as one of the most dramatic upheavals.”

By Friday morning, 210,000 people in the 60-plus age group, medical staff, residents of nursing homes and their caregivers had been vaccinated in Israel. On Thursday, 74,000 people were vaccinated in one day.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein ordered an increase in the rate of vaccinations and to reach 100,000 vaccine doses a day. “I thank the employees of the Ministry of Health, the health funds, the hospitals, MDA and the Home Front Command for their wonderful work. Thanks to 210,000 people we’re on the road to being more protected,” he said.

Header: In this file photo taken on December 08, 2020 a member of staff poses with a phial of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination health centre. An expert committee convened by the US Food and Drug Administration on December 10, 2020, voted heavily in favor of recommending the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use approval. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

Source: Arutz Sheva

UPDATE

Israel has vaccinated some 266,000 people against COVID-19 since kicking off a national vaccination drive this week, Channel 12 News reported Saturday.

The Health Ministry doesn’t provide statistics on vaccinations in real time during Shabbat, so no updated figures were immediately available. Channel 12 cited official data it had received. It said the true figure was likely higher already.

In its last update before Shabbat on Friday morning, the Health Ministry said nearly 210,000 medical workers, Israelis over 60 and residents of senior living facilities had received the vaccine.

The vaccine campaign, which began Sunday, continued on Saturday in some capacity, multiple media reports indicated, despite reported opposition from top rabbis to vaccinating on the Jewish day of rest.

Saturday, both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the director-general of the Health Ministry said they hope Israel can eventually reach a vaccination rate of at least 150,000 people per day.

“Our goal is to reach 150,000 vaccinations a day by next weekend,” Netanyahu said in a video statement. “This is a fantastic thing, but a scope like this is a world record.”

At a pace of 150,000 vaccines administered a day, Netanyahu said that within a month 2.25 million Israelis could receive both doses of the vaccine.

“This is the critical stage… because this is the entire at-risk population: all the medical teams, all the people over 60. Within this stratum is 95 percent of the mortality. Once we finish this stage, within 30 days we can get out of the coronavirus [pandemic], open the economy and do things that no other state can do,” he claimed, echoing an assertion he made Thursday.

He also said he spoke over the weekend with the heads of pharmaceutical firms, asking them to increase the pace at which they’re supplying the vaccine. Netanyahu, who didn’t specify which pharma executives he spoke with, said he was told they believe they can do so.

According to a Channel 12 report Saturday, Clalit Health Services, will open 24/7 vaccination centers in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Herzliya in the coming days to help ramp up the pace of the vaccine drive. Additional centers are expected to be opened at a later date.

Israeli hospitals are also to join the vaccination effort next week, and hundreds of IDF medics will also participate, to help expedite the process.

Source: TOI