Coronavirus: Five millionth Israeli vaccinated

Number of cases in serious condition and daily deaths continue to decline.

Janet Lavie-Azoulay, the five millionth Israeli to receive the coronavirus vaccine, meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, March 8, 2020 (photo credit: PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE)
Janet Lavie-Azoulay, the five millionth Israeli to receive the coronavirus vaccine, meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, March 8, 2020
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein met the five millionth Israeli to receive the coronavirus vaccination on Monday, as Israeli media reported that the authorities were weighting additional openings in the coming days.
The recipient of the vaccine, Janet Lavie-Azoulay, is an administrator of a Clalit clinic and she is currently pregnant.
"This is a great day. We are celebrating five million vaccinated and the opening of our economy almost entirely with the green pass yesterday," said Netanyahu. "This is a tremendous achievement for Israel which is the first country to emerge from the coronavirus. We have just over a million [people] left over the age of 16. By the end of April, we will be out of the coronavirus and vaccinating everyone to our estimation. We're in a clear exit from the coronavirus and there's nothing to worry about, I know Janet is pregnant, but it's all fake news. Go get vaccinated."
"We are already working on bringing in tens of millions of vaccines to keep the economy open and so that there will be no further closures," added the prime minister. "The State of Israel is the first in the world, not only a world champion in vaccines, but in getting out of the coronavirus. We will do it together, we will keep the rules and by the end of April the entire adult population of Israel will be vaccinated, a global achievement."
"In a country with nine million people, in a world that has nine billion people. We are a thousandth of the world's population and are ahead of everyone thanks to the vaccines, thanks to the health funds that are here and thanks to the readiness of the citizens of Israel," he pointed out. "There is a very small task to complete this and get a general vaccination, later on the children will too."
Netanyahu also announced during the event that Israel would be building factories in Israel to produce vaccines within the country.
Because of the success of the vaccination campaign, Israeli media reported that the Health and Education ministries have decided that in green and yellow cities grades 11-12 with a high vaccination rate among students and teachers will be allowed to go back to learn as full classes and not in capsules. Moreover, when a city switches color under the traffic light program, whose scores are updated every Wednesday, its schools will be allowed to reopen already the following Sunday, without waiting a full week. At the same time, the number of students in quarantine continues to grow and it stood at over 90,000 on Monday night.
Israel is registering some 71% fewer daily deaths, and 45% fewer critically ill patients since the peak in the third wave around mid-January, Eran Segal, a computational biology professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science, said on Sunday night.
Some 14 people died of COVID-19 on Sunday, according to a report by the Health Ministry on Monday. In the past week, the highest number of people passing away from the virus over 24 hours was 21, marking a significant decrease compared to what happened in previous weeks — on January 24, 79 patients died in a single day. The death toll since the beginning of the pandemic stood at 5,915 as of Monday night.
The number of patients in serious conditions also continued to declined, standing at 690, similar to figure in the previous days, but several hundred units lower than where it was at the peak of the third wave, when it reached 1,200.
Segal tweeted that the general cases are showing a 55% decrease compared to mid-January.
Some 2,331 people were identified as positive to the virus on Sunday. While the number is considerably lower than the one on previous workdays, when it stood at around 3,700, it is important to consider that on Sundays Israel has been administering a lower number of tests than on other days of the weeks — yesterday around 65,000 tests were performed compared to over 90,000 from Monday to Thursday in the previous week. Some 3.7% of them returned a positive result.
In addition, the R rate — or reproduction rate — stood at 0.99 on Monday morning, meaning that each person infected would on average pass on the virus to less than one other person.
The R rate has been fluctuating around 1 for the past week, after dropping as low as 0.79.
Because of the positive progress of the pandemic numbers, Israeli authorities are reportedly considering lifting additional restrictions ahead of the Passover holiday, which begins on Saturday evening, March 27. According to a report on channel 12, the number of people allowed to gather indoor might be increased from 20 to 30.