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Israel’s vaccine drive still slow, stumping health officials

Though all Israelis 16 and older are eligible to get vaccinated, the inoculation centers say few are showing up.

According to Channel 12, Israel’s health providers were ready for 200,000 vaccinations a day since last week. But demand dropped by 50 percent.

“We have no explanation for why people are not coming. We send out messages telling people to come and get vaccinated, but still the response is low,” a Clalit health official tells the network.

According to the station, 119,000 shots are administered on Monday, 53,000 of them the first dose.

An Israeli health worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at Clalit Health Services, in a gymnasium in the central Israeli city of Hod Hasharon, on February 4, 2021. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Moshe Tsarfati, waiting at a vaccination center in Jerusalem for a vaccine, tells Channel 12: “It’s just shocking the flood of conspiracy theories online against vaccinating. It’s shocking and people are dying as a consequence.”

Israel is still leading the world in vaccination rates per capita, having given the first shot to over 3.5 million of its citizens and the second to 2.1 million.

According to OECD figures cited by Channel 12, Israel is also leading the world in infections, though it is the lowest for mortality (0.7%).

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