Minister Says No Forced Covid Shots

YERUSHALAYIM -
Yoav Kisch, Israel’s Deputy Health Minister. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Media reports that plans are afoot to force Israelis to get a Covid-19 shot are untrue, according to Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch.

“There is no intention to advance legislation” of this kind, the Likud MK told Channel 12, and said he was aware that some Israelis are saying they intend to refuse vaccination when it becomes available.

A recent poll showed that 52 percent of Israelis plan to forego the shot, at least on the first round. The Israel Democracy Institute survey found that only 40 percent would take a first shot at the vaccine, likely indicating a concern that safety standards could get slighted as the companies rush to complete trials and begin production.

Kisch said he checked with Health Minister Yuli Edelstein earlier today, and the latter told him the reports are “false and misleading.”

The deputy health minister says he believes the reports stemmed from a “misunderstanding” after health officials consulted with legal representatives on the possibility of forcing coronavirus testing.

Meanwhile, the infection rate in the Palestinian Authority was up.

The PA Health Ministry reported 742 new cases over the last 24 hours, the most in some months.

Around 22% of tests came back positive, suggesting that the virus is spreading among Palestinians who have not yet been tested.

In Gaza, 389 new coronavirus infections were confirmed on Thursday, and around 15% of tests came back positive, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. Hamas health authorities have said that the coastal enclave could return to lockdown if the number of active cases increases.

The PA, in Yehuda and Shomron, currently has 5,402 active coronavirus cases, and the Gaza Strip has 3,827.