Coronavirus Vaccine Arrives in Israel
Israel received its first shipment of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday morning, when a DHL cargo flight from Brussels, carrying 3,000 to 4,000 doses, arrived at Ben-Gurion International Airport. Hundreds of thousands of additional doses are to arrive on Thursday. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was on hand to greet the plane and said he would be the first person in Israel to receive the vaccine as part of a campaign to encourage widespread inoculation. “What’s important to me is that people of Israel get vaccinated. I believe in this vaccine. I want the people of Israel to get vaccinated and so I will be first,” the prime minister said. Israel reached a deal with Pfizer, announced last month, to provide 8 million doses – enough to inoculate 4 million people. It is to receive 4 million doses by the end of December. The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at -70°C (-94°F) and used within five days of removal from cold storage. A national vaccine storage and distribution center has been set up in the Negev Desert, where vaccines will be warehoused before their distribution throughout the country.