Prime Minister Netanyahu hails the start of the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign as a “very great day” for Israel.
Speaking at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, where he is becoming the first Israeli to receive the vaccine, he pledges millions of doses will arrive by the end of the month and urges all Israelis to be vaccinated.
“I asked to be first to be vaccinated, along with Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, to serve as a personal example and encourage you to get vaccinated,” he says before receiving the vaccine.
Netanyahu says that the return to life as we used to know it begins now. For all those who have been unable “to hug grandpa and grandma,” for all those whose businesses have been closed, “who haven’t been able to go to restaurants or the gym, or to watch soccer or basketball,” the vaccine drive means Israel can start “to reopen, to return to what it was… to normal life. It starts here.”
The doctor administering the vaccine shows off the vial holding the dose to the cameras before handing it to a nurse to be prepared.
He then shows off the vial and the syringe.
The process takes a few minutes, with lots of checking and rechecking, and the doctor then attempts to inject Netanyahu in his left arm. The prime minister, who is left-handed, redirects him to his right arm.
“A small injection for a man and a giant step for the health of us all,” Netanyahu says after receiving the vaccine. He wishes “every success” for the vaccination drive, and urges all Israelis to “go get vaccinated.”
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein is vaccinated after him.