dpa/GNA – Israel became the third country in the world to authorize the Moderna vaccine against Covid-19, the US biotech company said late Monday.
The Israeli Health Ministry has secured 6 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, it said, adding that the first deliveries to Israel “are expected to begin shortly.”
A Health Ministry spokesperson could not confirm the statement.
The United States and Canada have already authorized the Moderna vaccine.
Israel began its vaccination campaign on December 20, using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
According to the research website Our World in Data, Israel, with a population of 9 million people, is the world leader in the number of vaccinated people per 100 residents, followed by Bahrain and Britain.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said early Tuesday that some 1,370,000 Israelis have received their first dose of the vaccine.
However, the number of new infections per day exceeded 8,000 for the first time since September, according to Health Ministry data released Tuesday.
“I remind you: a full vaccination is only a week after the second dose,” Edelstein wrote on Twitter. “Meanwhile, infections are skyrocketing. So unfortunately there is no escape from a full and fast lockdown.”
Israel is currently in its third nationwide lockdown, but health professionals have criticized it for being too lax and are calling for tighter restrictions. Edelstein scheduled an emergency meeting for Tuesday morning in light of the rising caseload.
The Health Ministry recorded 8,308 new coronavirus infections on Monday, with 7.6 per cent of tests coming back positive.