Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to be the first person in Israel to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a translation posted on the Israeli government website.
The Prime Minister made this known in a video address from quarantine on Thursday, where he has been since Monday after coming in contact with a person who later tested positive for COVID-19.
Netanyahu said he had asked to be the first to receive the vaccine so as to demonstrate its effectiveness.
“On Friday, I will leave quarantine and on Saturday evening I will go get vaccinated.
”I have asked to be the first person to get vaccinated in order to serve as an example and to persuade you that you can and should be vaccinated,” Netanyahu said.
The Prime Minister added that millions of doses will be available to Israelis by the end of January and called on citizens not to avoid getting inoculated.
Netanyahu explained that after all frontline workers, the elderly and those in risk groups have been vaccinated, subsequent shipments of the vaccine can cover the entirety of the Israeli population.
Last week, the first doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 produced by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German firm BioNTech arrived in Israel.
In total, the Israeli government has signed a deal for 8 million doses of the vaccine, which is already being used in the United Kingdom.
Israel has also concluded deals with other manufacturers, including the U.S. firm Moderna, for other candidate vaccines.
On November 1, clinical trials for Israel’s domestically produced vaccine against the coronavirus disease began.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 357,000 positive tests for COVID-19 have been registered in Israel, resulting in the deaths of about 3,000 people.