Sixty-three percent of Israelis expect to receive a vaccine for the coronavirus, with the highest numbers among seniors most exposed to COVID-19, according to a study released Friday.
The poll published in Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper found that 24% expect to be vaccinated immediately and 39% will receive “the vaccine, but stay a little.”
Among those over 65, 50% said they expect to be vaccinated immediately and 32% said they would “probably get the vaccine, but wait a while.”
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Eleven percent of the general population will not get vaccinated at all and 17% will not agree to receive the bullet in the next year, the study found.
This would mean that nearly 30% of the population would not receive the vaccine in 2021, putting Israel right on the edge of the 60-70% of the population that scientists believe was necessary get the vaccine to create herd immunity against the coronavirus.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein told Channel 12 on Friday that he hoped that as more people became more exposed to the vaccine, public confidence in the vaccine would grow.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Edelstein are thought to be the first two Israelis to be vaccinated Saturday night, followed by other leaders.
The census also showed more immunization among Arab Israelis than their fellow Jewish citizens. While 10% of Jewish Israelis said they would definitely not get the vaccine, 16% of Arab Israelis said the same. Twenty-five percent of Jewish Israelis said they would definitely get the vaccine compared to 20% of Arab Israelis.
However, there appeared to be a number of issues with the election process.
Yedioth surveyed 875 people, saying the survey was “very large”, but that number is around the level of statistical significance according to the size of Israel. The census is also heavily weighted towards those 65 and above, who make up more than a third of those surveyed, despite the fact that they only make up about one tenth of the population.
A much larger study of more than 1,100 doctors by Kan found that 82% of them plan on getting shots.
The Ministry of Health told health maintenance agencies that Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign will begin next week, with members of the public starting receiving vaccines on December 21st.
The Ministry of Health on Wednesday released a detailed list of who from the public would be initially included when the main drive of the vaccine begins on Sunday.
Topping the list starting Sunday are hospital staff, followed by HMO staff, private health clinics and dental offices; medical and nursing students participating in clinical visits; members of Magen David Adom and other ambulance services; and residents and carers of old living homes.
Some people will generally start getting the vaccine on Monday or Wednesday, including those in at – risk groups and anyone over 60.
Next Israelis work in high-risk jobs exposed to the virus, such as teachers, social workers, first responders, and prison workers (prisoners are also given priority); and Israeli Defense Forces soldiers and other security guards.
The rest of the population will eventually arrive, with a timeline based on how many doses Israel will reach and the level of demand from the priority groups. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that if there are more doses, the public will be allowed to be vaccinated more quickly.
The government has set a target of 60,000 vaccines per day when the drive begins, meaning two million Israelis could receive the vaccine by the end of January.