Israel to begin coronavirus vaccination on Sunday

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Tel Aviv, Dec. 16, 2020 Israel is to begin its coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination campaign on Sunday, with health workers first in line to receive the jab, the presidential office said on Wednesday.

President Reuven Rivlin would take part in an official event at a hospital in Jerusalem, where he would also be vaccinated along with health personnel, the presidential office said.

The vaccination campaign was initially scheduled to begin on Dec. 27, but there had been speculation that it would be pulled forward.

The first vaccine doses arrived in Israel a week ago.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu afterwards said the country could administer 60,000 jabs per day, and that he would be the first to be vaccinated.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Netanyahu was set to receive a shot on Saturday evening along with the health minister.

Meanwhile, the number of new coronavirus infections in Israel crossed a threshold set by the government for implementing new restrictions.

The health ministry reported 2,862 new cases in the last 24 hours, breaking the 2,500-mark set for tightening rules again.

The government has said that if new restrictions show no effect within three weeks, a new lockdown would be imposed.

The country of nine million inhabitants saw infections rise steeply after a relatively mild summer, with the government imposing a second lockdown in September, which pushed infections from around 9,000 per day to 200.

In October, the government began loosening the restrictions in steps, which has led to a renewed increase.

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