Israel leads vaccine race with 12% given jab
Bleak though the covid nineteen news is on a number of fronts. There is mercifully tunnel. Luminated light in the form of several vaccines becoming more and more available and a race of sorts is on countries which can vaccinate their populations. Fastest will aside from doing. Obviously the right thing themselves. A considerable competitive advantage in terms of reopening at home and potentially reengaging with the world leading the field by a stretch is israel more than a million israelis over a tenth of the population have already received the first shot of the to phase pfizer. Biontech job one joint first of all by alison kaplan some journalist with herod's alison. Obviously israel has certain natural advantages. Here i it is only nine million or so people living in quad small geographic area but that aside. What is israel secret. How is it done it so quickly. Well i think we've got a very lucky combination of two factors number. One is the hustle of prime minister. Benjamin netanyahu who you know he's been around for a very long time developed a lot of connections in in many places and he made it a priority. I think to line up very early. Orders of A vaccine from multiple companies sort of placing his bets while widely and And putting a lot of pressure on the On the heads of the companies. And i think he you know. He carries a lot of weight. 'cause he's because he's a very well known world figure but i think that you can't give the credit to netanyahu because the way that the israeli healthcare system is set up is. It's a public health system but it's also highly competitive. We have four or five very large. Hmo's each with their own staff each with their own infrastructure who are set up every season to give multiple flu vaccines and basically what the country has done his taken these multiple. Hmo's and for the covid. Vaccinations put them on steroids. And they were very early and very well organized to and they're all very digitized so everyone's just getting a text message on their phone over-sixties in high risk people right now. I'm telling them to To go online and sign up. They can do that. They can do by phone if they want. So it's really a winning combination of netanyahu's hustle and and the way that the israeli healthcare system is very efficient and effective. Is this also one of those moments. At which and. I'm reminded here of a conversation we had earlier in the with. Joseph woo foreign minister of taiwan. Who made the point that his is a country which like israel is also accustomed to collectively responding and mobilizing in times of crisis. Is there something to that. Absolutely no listen. They don't call it the six day war for nothing right. The the country knows how do How to scramble and get a lot done. In in short amounts of time now the other side of the coin paint too rosy picture of the situation in israel because we are making amazing progress and vaccinations. But we've had some terrible terrible trouble of enforcing the restrictions for the coronavirus virus to keep people safe in our infection rate while we've been able to keep deaths down again. Excellent healthcare system has not been so successful. Israelis are very good at doing things. But they're not so good at not doing things. And so the whole social distancing and keeping things closed has not been a huge success here and tanio as much as he may be. The hero of the vaccine. Effort is is having to handle a lot of very harsh criticism about how the government has not effectively managed. The crisis is any talk at all of extending. This rolled out to the palestinian territories. As for now right now know. There are some clauses in the oslo accords of the mid nineties. I think that specifically refers to vaccines that gives the palestinian authority atonomy over vaccinating the palestinian population and they've even been some palestinian officials. That said we haven't asked israel to help us with with vaccines going to go our own way. That said i think that once israel really feels that it's got its population in hand and israel is not a sort of going to head to the finish line. There's going to be a hold up in january because israel does not have sufficient orders ship for delivery in january but once israel does feel secure about getting its population of vaccinated. I think that it's going to extend some sort of assistance to Certainly the west bank because the populations are mixed and so having a lot of covid in carriers among the palestinian population. Israel has a self interest in doing something about that but until now nothing has happened. Alison haaretz thank you for joining us.