Edelstein Facing Criticism From Anti-Vaxxers

Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein speaks during a press conference about the coronavirus, in Airport City on September 17, 2020. (Flash90)

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein has become a target of criticism from anti-vaxxers for recommending that Israelis get Covid-19 shots when they become available, probably starting next month.

“I’m being called Dr. Mengele, the [despicable] Nazi murderer, because my office is securing vaccines for the entire public. Being vaccinated is not an obligation. It wasn’t and will not be. To be vaccinated is a right. It is my duty as health minister to ensure vaccines … that will be enough for all Israelis.

“Vaccinate if you want, don’t vaccinate if you don’t,” he said, dismissing allegations that he wants legislation requiring all citizens to be vaccinated.

Also on Wednesday, Health Ministry Director Hezy Levy told reporters that “we won’t force people to take a vaccine. Israeli law doesn’t allow for it.”

He said a small amount of vaccines will arrive by the end of December, and more during the first two quarters of 2021. No significant side effects are anticipated, he said.

Regarding the possibility of a third lockdown on Hanukkah, Levy said “there will be no initiated closure on Chanukah,” though he did express concern about the current coefficient of infection.