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Covid-19 News

Israeli Health Minister ‘pleased’ as FDA approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Yuli Edelstein: This is a huge message for Israeli citizens * Vaccine to be given to people aged 16 and older

By MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN | REUTERS
December 12, 2020

The US Food and Drug Administration said it authorized the use of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, with the first inoculations expected within days, marking a turning point in the United States and Israel where the pandemic has killed a collective nearly 300,000 people.”

I am pleased that Pfizer’s vaccine has undergone a critical phase with FDA approval,” said Health Minister Yuli Edelstein on Friday, just after the country learned that Pfizer had advanced through the first stage of approval, a greenlight from the FDA advisory board. “This is a huge message for Israeli citizens as well.”

He said that he instructed my ministry staff to review the approval and submit their recommendations in the coming days so that vaccination could start before the end of the month.The Health Ministry, the health funds and Magen David Adom, along with representatives of Israel’s senior living centers and likely the Home Front Command, are all preparing for mass vaccination of the Israeli population.

The first hundreds of thousands of doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Israel this week and more are expected to come before the end of December. Israel ordered a total of eight million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough to dose four million Israelis.

Last week, the ombudsman for medical professions at the Health Ministry, Dr. Boaz Lev, revealed that medical personnel, senior citizens and those with pre-existing medical conditions that put them at risk for a serious case of COVID-19 would be the first inoculated. However, he said during a Thursday briefing that the Health Ministry is considering opening the vaccination at the beginning to more extensive groups of people to encourage more people to agree to be jabbed. 

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