Prime Minister Naftali Bennett calls on Arab Israelis to get vaccinated, citing relatively lower inoculation rates in the community.
“Immunization rates in Arab society are too low. I hereby call on anyone over the age of 60 to go and get vaccinated with the third vaccine, the booster shot. It saves lives,” Bennett says.
Arab Israelis have lagged behind their Jewish counterparts in receiving a coronavirus shot. According to the Galilee Society, an Arab Israeli health nonprofit, around 83% of Arab Israelis over the age of 50 had been vaccinated as of late last week, compared with 92% in Israel as a whole.
Some 51% of Arab Israelis have been vaccinated in total, compared with 66% of all Israeli citizens, according to the nonprofit, which bases its analysis on publically available Health Ministry data.
“I call on young people who have not been vaccinated at all, and there are many: Go out today to get vaccinated. That way you will not be infected and will not infect. It will save the lives of your loved ones,” says Bennett.
Despite the relatively lower vaccination rates among Arab Israelis, little evidence suggests they are behind the wave of infections sweeping Israel.
Around 11% of COVID-19 cases were in Arab cities and towns last week, even though they constitute over 20% of the population. As of today, some 26 cities have been designated high-infection “red” areas; just one of them is Arab.