Israel has received its initial shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at Ben Gurion Airport in a DHL freight flight from Brussels

The 4,000 doses in this initial delivery, which was brought to test the system the government has set up to store and deliver the vaccines around the country. Pfizer’s vaccine must be kept in special freezer units that can chill them to -70 centigrade. Once defrosted, they only keep five days in regular refrigerators, so they must be distributed and used quickly.

A national storage and distribution center has been built in the Negev for the millions of doses that Israel has ordered from several different pharmaceutical companies that are developing shields against the Covid-19 virus.

Hundreds of thousands of doses are expected to arrive over the weekend and health funds were reportedly notified that they would be able to start inoculating citizens on December 20. Elder-care facilities will also be getting packages of injections, as their residents are particularly high risk.

Pfizer alone will send eight million doses, with up to half reportedly reaching Israel by the end of the month. Each person requires two injections, received several weeks apart, for the inoculation to work.