Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says people are rushing to get a third vaccine shot as protection from the surging Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Bennett points to government statistics showing that more than 420,000 Israelis older than 60 have received a booster shot, over a third of the total targeted population. Bennett says the number is expected to grow to half a million people by the end of the day.
The prime minister speaks after a weekly cabinet meeting. Israel is seeing a rising number of people hospitalized with COVID-19, almost all of them infected with the highly contagious Delta variant. The government has reinstituted its mask mandate for indoor settings and is weighing more restrictions.
Israel became a world leader in vaccination against the virus during its initial public campaign, About 5.4 million of the country’s 9.3 million people have received two vaccine doses.