With most adults vaccinated, Israel’s large inoculation centers start to close

As pace slows, Tel Aviv shuts major sites; focus shifts to smaller communities as health providers run mobile units in various places with low rates of vaccination

The large vaccination center in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)
The large vaccination center in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

With the vast majority of Israelis age 16 and up already vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, big vaccination centers in the country’s main cities have started to close as the focus shifts to smaller, mobile stations in smaller communities.

More than 5.1 million of Israel’s 9.3 million population have received at least one vaccine dose, and over 4.5 million have gotten both shots.

With at least 3 million others unable to get inoculated since they are under the age of 16, the vaccination pace has slowed down dramatically since those who want to get vaccinated have mostly already done so.

A massive vaccination center at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square has been taken down, with works on a planned light rail planned to begin there next month, the Globes business daily reported.

Israelis sit near a vaccination center at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, December 31, 2020 (Miriam ALster/Flash90)

The huge tent complex run by the municipality along with the city’s Ichilov hospital has been used by the Maccabi and Meuhedet health providers to inoculate many thousands of residents.

Another big center at a stadium in northern Tel Aviv is also being closed down, as sports events are slowly returning.

It wasn’t immediately clear what would be done with the large vaccination centers set up in Jerusalem.

Health providers will now give vaccines in some of their existing clinics.

People receive COVID-19 vaccine injections in a mobile Magen David station at the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem on February 22, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

In addition, health providers and the Magen David Adom ambulance service have shifted their focus to small, mobile vaccination centers in different places every day, with focus on communities where immunization rates are relatively low, particularly in predominantly Arab locales.

Those who have recovered from COVID-19 at least three months ago can also get a (single) vaccine dose.

Officials have said vaccination of kids under the age of 16 could possibly begin in the summer, if trials show the shots are safe for them.

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