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Israel’s vaccine drive has slowed 50%, health official laments, blaming fake news

A young Israeli receives a COVID-19 vaccine shot, at Clalit vaccination center in Jerusalem, on February 4, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
A young Israeli receives a COVID-19 vaccine shot, at Clalit vaccination center in Jerusalem, on February 4, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Even though vaccines are now offered to all Israelis over the age of 16, the pace of inoculations has slowed dramatically, a senior official in the country’s largest health provider says, blaming online fake news promoting vaccine skepticism.

“At the beginning of the [vaccination] campaign we got used to inoculating between 100,000 and 120,000 people per day, and in the last few days we are barely reaching half of those figures,” Kalanit Kaye, the manager of Clalit’s vaccination drive, tells the Ynet news site.

Kupat Holim Clalit’s Kalanit Kaye (Channel 12 Screenshot)

“We are prepared, our centers are big and accessible, the process should be pretty simple on the whole, vaccines are being given for free, so I don’t understand the people who don’t come to get the shot. It’s a big mistake,” she laments.

“There was greater cooperation among the at-risk populations,” Kaye adds. “Right now we’re reaching out to the younger public, and some people don’t understand the vaccine’s importance. Unfortunately, the fake news on social media and in the press is doing damage. People aren’t sufficiently afraid of the coronavirus because they aren’t familiar with what it causes.”

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