Netanyahu is the first Israeli to receive the COVID vaccine: ‘Start to return to normal life’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night became the first Israeli to receive the coronavirus vaccine, get the hang of live television and start the country’s ambitious COVID-19 vaccination campaign, highlighting the event as “A very good day” for Israel.

“One small injection for a man and one big leap for health for all of us,” asked Netanyahu, 71, of Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, echoing the famous words of astronaut Neil Armstrong after his encounter land on the moon.

Building on the theme of the Hanukkah holiday that was just coming to an end, he said: “We are leaving the darkness of the coronavirus, at the beginning of the journey to a great light.” He said he hoped Israel could be the first country to defeat COVID-19 pandemic disease if vaccinated.

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“If everyone works together, sticks to the rules and is going to be vaccinated, we will get out of this and we could do well. as the first country in the world to emerge from this [pandemic]. Let’s do it together, ”he said.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein was vaccinated times later.

After receiving his photo, Netanyahu was put in the spotlight for half an hour to look for possible allergic reactions, which have been reported in a few very rare cases.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (L) have been injected with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine live on TV, at Sheba Medical Center, the country’s largest hospital, in Ramat Gan, 19 December 2020. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Netanyahu promised that millions of doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would arrive before the end of the month and urged all Israelis to get the vaccine.

“I wanted to get the first vaccine, along with Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, to be a personal example and encourage you to get the vaccine,” he said. “Go get the vaccine.”

He said the return to life as we used to know is beginning now. For all who could not “court grandparents,” for all those whose businesses closed, “who could not go to restaurants or to the gym, or be watching football or basketball, “the vaccine drive means Israel can start” reopening, to return to what it was… to normal life. It starts here. ”

Netanyahu and Edelstein each need to get a bullet boost in three weeks to get the best protection from the novel coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu urged the Israelis to continue following the health restrictions: social distance, frequent hand washing, and wearing a mask.

When asked by an English reporter if he was nervous about getting the bullet, he laughed and said: “No, no, I wasn’t worried. I thought it was important to set a personal example so that all the Israelis would go and vaccinate themselves. “

Netanyahu said he felt “horrible” after the picture, and Edelstein said he also felt fine.

“I didn’t grow a tail,” the health minister said cheerfully, referring to a “false news” landslide over vaccine safety.

As Netanyahu received the vaccine, about 300 people protested outside as part of Saturday night ‘s weekly demonstrations against the prime minister.

“The man is coming to be vaccinated, as if he were going to save us,” one activist told Channel 12. “He has come here to present it, to spin it.” personal example of [man] brutality, criminal and breach of trust are suspected to be patient and unauthorized. “

The Netanyahu vaccine made him one of the first global leaders to receive the vaccine.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence received the live bullet on television Friday, and President Joe Biden is ready to get his picture Monday. President Trump has made it clear that he does not intend to take the vaccine anytime soon, citing the belief that his recovery from a brief but severe blow of COVID-19 has given him immunity.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will receive a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine photo at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House building, on December 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP / Andrew Harnik)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin will receive the vaccine on Sunday when the country begins vaccinating health workers. From Monday, Israelis aged 60 and over and at risk can be vaccinated at health maintenance organizations (HMOs) by prescription.

The government hopes to absorb about 60,000 people a day and up to two million Israelis by the end of January.

Earlier on Saturday, Channel 13 reported that authorities were already out of doses for distribution after sending the first batch of several tens of thousands of doses to HMOs, with no clear timeline for when reached the next vessels of pictures.

The director general of the Ministry of Health has denied the report.

“There will be vaccines for all the people of Israel, talk of a shortage that is not right,” Chezy Levy was quoted as saying by Ynet news site.

Coronavirus czar Nachman Ash warned Saturday that Israel would not see significant results from the vaccination campaign for weeks.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at Rady Children’s Hospital before being returned to the refrigerator, in San Diego, California on December 15, 2020. (Ariana Drehsler / AFP)

“We will start to see results after at least two months from the start of the vaccination program,” Ash said. “Despite the vaccination, we must adhere to the restrictions. at the same time. “

A tax also called for all Israelis to be vaccinated on Saturday. He told Channel 12 News he was “delighted and excited” that the campaign was about to begin.

He also warned that Israel was moving towards new restrictions to prevent an increase in diseases, and possibly even a third lockout.

With new daily issues mounting, the coronavirus cabinet was ready to meet Sunday to discuss new restrictions on the public, possibly including closing trade for several weeks.

Measures under consideration include the closure of all street shops and malls within the next few days as well as the closure of some school levels in areas with high disease rates.

People with a face mask seen on Jaffa Street in central Jerusalem on 15 December 2020 (Yonatan Sindel / Flash90)

Israel will apply the Pfizer vaccine in the first phase of the inoculation push. The country has also agreed to receive 6 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, enough for 3 million people, authorized in the United States for emergency release Friday by the Food and Drug Administration.

However, Channel 12 has stated that the Moderna vaccine is not expected to reach Israel earlier than April.

On Saturday afternoon the Ministry of Health said 2,815 new cases of coronavirus were diagnosed Friday, the fourth day in a series of nearly 3,000 daily cases. The number of active cases was 23,917, for a total of 372,401 cases since the outbreak began. The death toll was 3,070. Of the active cases, 445 were in poor condition, including 109 on air conditioners. Another 144 were in moderate condition and the remainder had moderate or asymptomatic symptoms.

The Ministry of Health on Saturday night confirmed that as part of new measures to try to limit the spread of the pandemic, it will now define all foreign countries as “red” states with high levels of disease, urging any traveler who comes to Israel quarantine upon arrival.

A ministry statement said that mandatory quarantine for Israelis from conventional “green” states will not begin until Dec. 26. Under the order, travelers must quarantine for 14 days, or for 10 days if they pass two side-by-side coronavirus tests. within nine days of their return without positive result.