The Israel Association for Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, better known as Shalva, on Sunday hosted a vaccination drive for people with disabilities, along with caregivers, therapists, and medical staff.
Throughout the day, over 1,200 individuals were inoculated by Magen David Adom volunteers in vaccination booths at the Shalva National Center in Jerusalem.
The drive came after over 1.2 million Israelis — accounting for about 12% of the population — received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
In a statement, Shalva said the inoculation of those with disabilities enables them to return to normal life, including to vital therapies and treatments, without fear of the ongoing pandemic and its restrictions.
“We were honored and delighted to host this vital inoculation campaign that brings with it hope for a brighter tomorrow and reveals the light at the end of this bleak coronavirus tunnel. It is an optimistic, heartening beginning for what we collectively pray shall be a wonderful new tomorrow for all of us in Israel and around the world,” Shalva’s founder Kalman Samuels said in a statement.
Israel’s vaccine drive is currently targeting medical staff and those over 60, though young people have been snatching up surplus doses left over at the end of the day. Despite this, Hebrew-language media reported Sunday that next week the campaign will slow down or even completely stop delivering the first dose of the Pfizer inoculation due to a shortage of vaccines that will take several weeks to resolve.
The pause in the vaccination drive won’t affect the administration of the second dose of the vaccine to the 1.2 million who received the first shot. But the healthcare system may stop scheduling appointments for the first dose of the vaccine as a stopgap measure, until further deliveries of the vaccine arrive in Israel, the reports said.