Israel to Allow Soldiers to Administer COVID Vaccines to Civilians

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A man receives a coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center in Jerusalem, yesterday.
A man receives a coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center in Jerusalem, yesterday.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

The Israeli government is expected to approve on Sunday a measure allowing soldiers to help health clinics vaccinate civilians against the flu and the coronavirus, as Israel's COVID-19 serious cases continue to drop.

At the behest of the Health Ministry, Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the military to allocate up to 1,000 soldiers for the vaccine drive. Under the plan, medics and paramedics serving in the army or in reserves will take a special course in administering vaccines. Soldiers will only vaccinate those who give their consent.

The Health Ministry will provide the military with the necessary resources to conduct the vaccinations. If approved, the measure will be valid for three months.

The state attorney general and the legal counsel for the military stated in their legal opinion that soldiers may be deployed for this purpose, subject to government approval. Soldiers will be required to sign a letter of medical confidentiality regarding those they vaccinate.

Meanwhile, Israel reported 1,325 new coronavirus cases on Friday, after 1,732 new COVID cases were logged on Thursday. Of the newly confirmed cases, 74 percent were unvaccinated, and 9 percent had received a booster shot. 

According to ministry figures, 385 patients are now hospitalized in serious condition. The number has fallen steadily over the past 19 days. Of the patients in serious condition 164 are on ventilators.

In addition, 1.48 percent of the 94,434 tests conducted on Thursday came back positive, marking a small decrease from 1.73 percent the previous day.

Moreover, ten people died of coronavirus on Thursday, raising Israel's death toll to 7,976.

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