Green passports to army medics: How Israel launched the world’s fastest Covid-19 vaccination drive

Updated on Jan 02, 2021 01:50 PM IST

With health providers administering the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at a rate of 150,000 people a day - almost 2% of the population -  the country is expected to have a much higher fraction of population with vaccines than other countries including the UK, according to a report published in The Guardian.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has promised Israelis that the country will be the first to emerge from the pandemic if they cooperate.(Reuters image)
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has promised Israelis that the country will be the first to emerge from the pandemic if they cooperate.(Reuters image)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Prashasti Singh

The world is looking at Israel as it leads with its ambitious inoculation drive to vaccinate more than 10% of its population against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) by the end of this week. The country of 9 million people has ramped up its vaccination drive to a 24/7 operation. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised Israelis that the country will be the first to emerge from the pandemic if they cooperate.

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With health providers administering the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at a rate of 150,000 people a day - almost 2% of the population - the country is expected to have a much higher fraction of population with vaccines than other countries including the UK, according to a report published in The Guardian.

Here is how Israel launched the world’s fastest Covid-19 vaccination drive:

1. Israel has advantages - it is a relatively small country in terms of geography and also population. A robust pre-pandemic digitalised healthcare system clubbed with the geographical advantages were factors in Israel’s initial success.

2. Manpower also played an important role in the country’s successful inoculation drive. Everyone over the age of 18 is obliged to register with government-linked insurance agencies and army medics have been called in to help.

3. The government campaigned vigorously to curb the spread of anti-vaccine information. It petitioned Facebook to remove four groups that published “content designed to mislead about coronavirus vaccines”, according to a report.

4. ‘Green passports’ are being issued to encourage citizens to get vaccinated. These are documents that would allow vaccinated people to eat in restaurants, travel freely and be exempted from quarantine.

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