A.Israel is one of the first countries in the world to start vaccinating teenagers against the coronavirus. The first adolescents aged 16 to 18 were vaccinated on Saturday, Israeli media reported on Sunday. Parents’ approval is required for this. This is intended to enable pupils who are about to graduate from high school to take part in face-to-face classes in schools.
On Friday and Saturday, the weekend in Israel, a total of 195,000 people were vaccinated, Health Minister Juli Edelstein said on Twitter on Sunday. Of the approximately nine million inhabitants of the country, 2.5 million have now received the first dose and almost a million have already received the second dose. The vaccine is approved (in the EU) from 16 years of age.
Israel is not only the fastest vaccinated country in the world, but also the one that has received the most doses of the Biontech vaccine in terms of population. The reason for this is probably less the higher price that Israel pays to Pfizer, but more importantly an agreement with the vaccine manufacturer to share essential data about the vaccination process, side effects and medical effects with the company.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared this in January as a service to the general public: “Israel will share with Pfizer and the world the statistical data that will help find strategies to beat the coronavirus,” said Netanyahu. Data protection activists, however, expressed concern about the passing on of patient data. Some suspect that Pfizer’s main concern is access to the Israeli vaccination database, which has been digitized for many years and is maintained by the Ministry of Health.
Infection numbers hardly decrease
Despite a lockdown lasting several weeks, the number of infections has not yet fallen sufficiently, Health Minister Edelstein said on Sunday. The Israeli government is therefore advising this Sunday about a two-week closure of Ben Gurion International Airport for most flights. The aim is to prevent further virus variants from being introduced. According to official information, up to 40 percent of new cases can be traced back to a mutation that comes from Great Britain. Recently, there have also been several cases of serious illness in pregnant women and children.
Meanwhile, the federal police at the largest German airport in Frankfurt on Sunday intensified the controls on flights from 32 high-risk areas of the corona pandemic, including recently Israel. The Federal Police Directorate in Frankfurt announced that the necessary entry requirements are also consistently checked. So-called high incidence areas are countries with significantly higher numbers of infections than in Germany. The limit value is usually an incidence of 200. Many countries are already in this category. In addition to Israel, Estonia, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates also joined on Sunday. The latter are in second place behind Israel in global vaccination statistics.