Beginning on Thursday, the Health Ministry will administer COVID-19 vaccines to all Israelis over the age of 16.

By Wednesday morning, 3,237,163 people in Israel had received the first dose of Pfizer’s BioNTech vaccine and 1,855,785 had received two doses. However, amid the country’s vigorous vaccination program, which has been administered during its third full lockdown since the crisis started last March, morbidity has fallen startlingly slowly, with 9.3 percent of the coronavirus samples collected on Tuesday yielding positive results.

According to Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, the current epidemic’s fundamental cause is the UK strain of the COVID-19 virus, which now makes up 80% of all new confirmed infections, up from 70% just days earlier.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was racing against the virus, and prioritizing for vaccination those over 50 would be crucial to beating the virus.
“This is important for all of us, because it allows us to open the economy gradually and, above all else, to save lives,” Netanyahu said.