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January 1, 2021 2:12 pm

Israel Stuns Observers With Lightning-Fast COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Minister Benjamin Netanyahu receives a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel December 19, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen/Pool.

Over one million Israelis have now been vaccinated against the coronavirus in the first weeks of the country’s rollout, a per capita rate that is by far the fastest internationally and which has stunned observers from around the world.

More than 11% of the country’s population has now been given the COVID-19 vaccine — more than three times the next-fastest country, Bahrain, and well above the global average of 0.13%, according to data from Oxford University’s Our World in Data. 

Max Roser, an Oxford researcher who founded the initiative, tweeted Friday that Israel “is rapidly getting to a point where mass deaths and mass lockdowns are over.”

“Other countries take holidays and keep the vaccines waiting in the freezers while their populations are stuck in lockdowns and their people die by the thousands,” he added.

The United States has vaccinated 0.84 citizens per 100 people, as of Wednesday. 

On Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein met with Jabarin Muhammad, the 1,000,000th person to be vaccinated, in the northern, heavily-Arab city of Umm Al-Fahm. “It is important to me also that the Arab population in the State of Israel be vaccinated quickly,” Netanyahu said at the event

“Within a few months, we will be able to say: ‘Hasta la vista’ to the coronavirus and return to normality,” said Edelstein. 

Foreign observers have praised Israel’s round-the-clock approach to the vaccination program, which has employed high-capacity inoculation centers operating 24 hours a day. 

Canadian Member of Parliament Peter Kent tweeted Friday, “how + why did Israel procure enough vaccine to treat more than 100K people everyday this week? Because it had to – Israel acted early, effectively and with organization driven by national security.”

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