Coronavirus: Who got Israel’s first vaccinations?

Despite priority being meant for people aged 60 and over, a significant percentage of those vaccinated were younger.

The COVID-19 vaccine given to medical staff at Ichilov Hospital on December 20. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The COVID-19 vaccine given to medical staff at Ichilov Hospital on December 20.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Health Ministry said on Thursday that about 70% of Israelis over the age of 60 have received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. However, in some major cities, a higher percentage of younger, rather than older, people were inoculated.
In a report, the ministry listed how many people were vaccinated in more than 700 places across the country, and their ages. It includes cities and towns of more than 2,000 residents. It does not include those who were vaccinated through the Magen Avot v’Imahaot program, which focuses on the elderly living in senior living facilities, or geriatric hospitals.
In the two largest cities, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, 170,809 people were inoculated – 82,155 in Tel Aviv and 88,654 in Jerusalem.
However, in Jerusalem nearly 40% of those vaccinated were under 60 years old. These included 993 people between 16-19, 6,166 between 20-29, 7,953 between 30-39, 8,706 between 40-49 and 11,066 between 50-59. The other 53,770 were over 60 – 21,804 between 60-69, 19,081 between 70-79, 10,028 between 80-89 and 2,857 over the age of 90.
In Tel Aviv, about a third of those vaccinated were under 60 – 26,541 people.
In some of the “reddest” cities, the data was even more striking. For example, in Beitar Illit and Modi’in Illit – both large haredi (ultra-orthodox) cities – more than three-quarters (77% and 76%, respectively) of those vaccinated were under 60.
Large numbers of young people were also inoculated in Beit Shemesh. In Bnei Brak, which has seen a significant rise in infection in recent weeks, 12,654 were vaccinated, of those, 4,502, 36% were under 60.
In Beit Shemesh, 5,082 out of 9,081 vaccinated were under 60 – 56%.
Vaccination in the Arab sector has been lower than in most of the country. In Israel’s largest Arab city, Nazareth, only 6,742 people were vaccinated so far out of more than 77,000 residents. Of those vaccinated, 49% were under 60: 56 between 16-19, 604 between 20-29, 753 between 30-39, 807 between 40-49 and 1,083 between 50-59.
On Wednesday, another 91,300 people were vaccinated – fewer than in recent days, as Israel winds down the current first phase of its campaign and prepares to roll out the second doses of the Pfizer vaccine to medical personnel, the elderly and those with chronic illnesses, as well as everyone else who received their first shots.
In total, the country has inoculated more than 1,593,000 people, around 17.5% of the population, according to a Health Ministry report released Thursday morning.
On Thursday, the Health Ministry forwarded guidelines to health funds and hospitals for administering the second doses. According to the guidelines, everyone who received their first dose at a hospital will return there for the second dose. People who were jabbed by their health funds will return to them, but can be vaccinated at another branch.
People are expected to be vaccinated at least 21 days after getting their first dose, but health funds and hospitals will safeguard doses for up to 35 days post first vaccination. If someone is in isolation, they will be able to delay receiving the second dose until they complete their period when they will be able to visit their health fund.