"There was great excitement. We already thought we would not be able to get vaccinated," said a young Israeli woman who was on the "vaccinated flight" from the Czech Republic, which landed on Sunday afternoon at Ben-Gurion Airport for a few hours to allow passengers to get vaccinated and then returned to the airport in Prague. About 100 Israelis, most of them medical students, were on the special flight, which was almost canceled. The students paid about 420 euros for two round-trip flights between Prague and Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday and in three weeks for the second vaccination.
At the end of the week, the flight was about to be canceled, after the Israel Airports Authority announced that due to the High Court's decision to open the skies, it would not be possible to vaccinate in the terminal itself and the complex would be located in the parking lot. This would have meant that the students would be forced to undergo passport control and do ten days of quarantine. "We could not agree to quarantine, because it would have prevented us from continuing the course of studies," one of them explained.
Following a request from The Jerusalem Post's sister publication Maariv and other sources, it was decided on Saturday night that a logistical operation would allow young Israelis to enter the vaccination complex and return immediately after receiving the vaccine without the need for a passport control procedure in the terminal and the plane needing to wait for them. "The flight left Prague about an hour and a half late. We were told that there was still no permit to park the plane, but in the end, everything worked out and the flight was very exciting," a young woman told Maariv. While most of the passengers came to get vaccinated, there were also passengers who came to visit the country, who were required to enter quarantine.
"We were received very nicely at Ben-Gurion Airport. I'm looking forward to receiving the second vaccine already, because the infection rate situation in the Czech Republic is not good and the atmosphere is not pleasant," said another excited young woman, who also could not meet her family. "The main thing was that I received the vaccine," she said. The mother added, "We eagerly awaited the arrival of the girl. It was important to us that she receive the vaccine – and I am happy that in the end, the operation was successful."