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Natural immunity

Mobile vaccination unit inoculates Israelis on forest stroll

Emergency service says dozens of visitors to the Shokeda Forest received the shot while day-tripping to see spring flowers

A mobile vaccination center in the Shokeda forest on February 13, 2020 (Courtesy Magen David Adom)
A mobile vaccination center in the Shokeda forest on February 13, 2020 (Courtesy Magen David Adom)

With Israel seeing a slowdown in its rate of vaccination and health officials trying to find new ways to encourage Israelis to get inoculated, Magen David Adom took a mobile vaccination unit to a forest in the south of Israel on Saturday, where thousands were visiting to see the spring flowers.

The emergency service said that dozens of visitors to the Shokeda Forest were vaccinated in the operation in the national park.

Tens of thousands of Israelis flocked to parks and nature reserves on Saturday, taking advantage of the end of lockdown travel restrictions combined with warm spring-like weather.

“We worked to make the vaccines accessible to the many visitors to nature,” said Magen David Adom director Eli Bin. “This allowed the public to get vaccinated while enjoying wonderful weather and spectacular blooms. I call on the public to continue getting vaccinated whenever and wherever possible.”

A field of anemone flowers blossoming in Shokeda Forest, southern Israel, January 30, 2019 (Dudi Modan/Flash90)

Two days earlier, the predominantly ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak distributed steaming bowls of cholent in a late-night drive.

Vaccination centers for all four health providers in the city served the traditional stew, bread rolls and drinks to those who came to get vaccinated in a bid to drive up the numbers.

The issue of vaccine hesitancy and skepticism is a growing concern as Israel’s world-leading inoculation campaign has slowed in recent weeks.

Some 3,832,387 Israelis have received the first dose of vaccine and 2,464,280 have received both shots — nearly a quarter of the entire population.

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