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Insufficient use of the vaccine, Israel may stop giving the first dose in the short term

In January, the Ministry of Health may be forced to freeze the vaccination campaign for two weeks, otherwise the injections may be used up.

Unless an agreement is reached, Pfizer will deliver the vaccine supply that expires in February in advance. Otherwise, according to the current vaccination rate, the daily inventory will be used up in about 10 days, and about 150,000 injections per day.

The report stated that semi-freezing allows people who received the first dose to get a second dose, but will not give a new first dose.

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Channel 1

2 said this, in turn, could lead to a delay in opening vaccination to the public. According to the report, some officials have previously assessed that this situation may occur within a week or so, but now it may have to wait a month and a half or more.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein confirmed that his Ministry of Health may stop taking the first dose “in the short term” and told Channel 12 that “there will be no shortage of second doses.”

Edelstein added that he is contacting Pfizer officials to advance the February vaccine order to January, but he said that “even if we have to stop for two weeks”, the per capita vaccination rate in Israel is still far ahead of any other. country.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein received a coronavirus vaccine at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on December 19, 2020. (Amir Cohen / Pool / AFP)

Earlier Wednesday, the Ministry of Health announced that it had received 152,000 coronavirus vaccines on Tuesday, although Israel recorded the highest number of new COVID-19 cases since the beginning of October.

The goal set by government officials is to vaccinate 150,000 Israelis every day by this weekend.

“On the way to get a million vaccines!” Edelstein tweeted. “The total is close to 650,000.”

Israel stepped up vaccination activities during the third nationwide blockade, which took effect on Sunday night to curb the recurrence of infection.

A woman received the COVID-19 vaccine at the Clalit Vaccination Center in Rehovot on December 29, 2020. (Yossi Aloni / Flash90)

The Ministry of Health said that 5,583 new coronavirus cases were confirmed on Tuesday, which is the highest daily increase since the beginning of October since the second lockdown.

At the same time, coronavirus czar Nachman Ash (Nachman Ash) said that lockdown measures may need to be strengthened and warned that the speed of vaccination operations may slow.

“We are working hard to advance the next batch of shipments, so there will not be any gap. If the shipment does not arrive early, this is a possibility, which is worrying.” Ash told Ynet News.

But Sharon Elroy-Preis, acting head of the Department of Public Health Services, played down concerns about potential vaccine shortages.

She told Cann: “We are routinely airlifting vaccines from Pfizer to ensure that this situation continues.”

After joining a health maintenance organization this week and vaccinating the public, she touted the hospital’s vaccine management capabilities and said the Ministry of Health hopes to distribute special documents to vaccinated people.

Israel began vaccinating on December 20, focusing on medical staff, people in their 60s and some high-risk groups.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s goal is to vaccinate 2.25 million Israelis out of a population of 9.2 million by the end of January.

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