Almost 210,000 Israelis over the age of 60, medical professionals and assisted living staff have received the coronavirus vaccine as of Friday morning, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said.
Over 74,000 vaccinations were conducted on Thursday. Edelstein promised that the rate of vaccinations would increase in the coming days, with a goal of inoculating 100,000 people a day.
The Maccabi health fund alone said that it broke a record on Thursday, vaccinating more than 18,500 people in a single day. The fund committed to vaccinate at least 25,000 people a day next week. It said that 190,000 vaccination appointments have thus far been set.
On Thursday, Israel lost its place as the leader in vaccinating its population to Bahrain, as 2.94 out of every 100 people in Bahrain were vaccinated as of Thursday, according to Our World in Data, while in Israel about 2.40 out of every 100 people were vaccinated, according to the most recent Health Ministry update.
The Health Ministry added home nursing caregivers to the first group of Israelis eligible to receive the vaccine, meaning that they can start receiving the vaccine immediately. The decision affects about 100,000 caregivers.during the lockdown amid high infection rates and it could put them at risk.Dr. Orly Greenfield, the medical director for the Magen Israel program, told Army Radio on Friday that, "the educational staff is a high priority" and that "immediately after the medical teams and people-at-risk, we will vaccinate them."Vaccinations of teachers is predicted to start in the next seven to 10 days, Health Ministry director-general Chezy Levy stated on Thursday.The head of the Teachers’ Union, Yaffa Ben-David, is looking into if she could legally require the Health Ministry to vaccinate teachers within the next week, since they will be asked to interact with so many students
At the moment, only medical professionals, seniors over the age of 60 and staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities are approved by the Health Ministry to receive coronavirus vaccines.
Despite this, over 150 young Israelis received the vaccination at the Poleg Mansion assisted living facility located south of Netanya on Thursday, after a staff member invited them in order to use up leftover vaccine doses, according to KAN news.
A source told KAN that such incidents are "expected to happen more," adding that "the vaccines should not be moved according to the decision of the Health Ministry, so when vaccines are left over like in such places - they will use this to invite people to get vaccinated even without a queue and without the age requirements that are currently required."
Some four million Israelis should be vaccinated by the end of the first quarter of 2021, said Levy during the briefing on Thursday.
On Thursday, the Health Ministry approved extracting six doses from Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine, instead of the five. The move raises the amount of the Pfizer vaccine doses in Israel by 20%.
Some 3,958 people were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus on Thursday, the Health Ministry reported early Friday morning, with 4.1% of the people screened tested positive.
Of those infected, 506 people were in serious condition, including 128 who were intubated. The death toll stood at 3,171.