JERUSALEM — Israel’s Health Ministry says it is widening its COVID-19 vaccination campaign to all of its citizens over the age of 16 starting on Thursday.
Israel is leading the world in vaccinations per capita, and as of Wednesday’s announcement has given 3.2 million people their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. More than 1.8 million people have received two doses of the vaccine.
At the same time that Israel has vaccinated around a third of its population, the country is under a nationwide lockdown to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, and new cases continue to mount at a troubling rate. Government statistics have also pointed to a drop in the number of daily vaccinations in recent weeks.
The Health Ministry has reported over 664,000 cases of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, and at least 4,890 deaths from the disease. More than a quarter of those deaths — 1,423 — were in January alone.