Jan 3, 2021 - World

Israel leads world in coronavirus vaccinations: Over 1M receive doses

 An Ultra-orthodox Jewish man gets vaccinated against the COVID-19 coronavirus at the Kupat Holim Meuhedet clinic in Jerusalem on December 21

A COVID-19 vaccination at the Kupat Holim Meuhedet clinic in Jerusalem. Photo: Menahem Kahanna/AFP via Getty Images

Israel has administered more COVID-19 vaccinations than any other nation, with over 1 million people receiving jabs — a rate of 12.59 doses per 100 people, new data from an Oxford University-run tracking site shows.

Why it matters: As countries like the U.S. fall behind on immunization goals, Israel has given coronavirus doses to over 10% of its population of 9.2 million since it began administering Pfizer/BioNTech's vaccine on Dec. 19.

A screenshot of Our World in Data's COVID-19 statistics
Photo: Our World in Data

The big picture: Israel is on its third national lockdown, with over 3,300 deaths from COVID-19 and 435,000 cases. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the country "could emerge from the pandemic as early as February" as it delivers doses to some 150,000 people per day, the BBC notes.

  • Israel has also struck deals with Moderna and other coronavirus vaccine producers. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip aren't covered by the rollout, which the Palestinian Authority hasn't officially requested, The Guardian reports.
  • Israeli officials have indicated they may give Palestinians surplus vaccines, and the COVAX initiative plans to distribute doses to the territories.

For the record: The U.S. has administered 4.23 million doses, a rate of 1.28 per 100 people as of Saturday, per the figures from the Oxford-run Our World in Data, which measures single doses of the vaccine that usually requires two jabs.

  • President-elect Joe Biden criticized the Trump administration last week for "falling behind" on its goal of 20 million Americans receiving the coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020. Trump blamed states for distribution delays.
  • NIAID director Anthony Fauci expects to see an increase in vaccine momentum in the U.S. this month that should enable health officials to catch up to the projected pace.
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