Netanyahu to Get First Pfizer Jab

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, second right, visit the Maccabi Healthcare Services vaccine complex for COVID-19, in Tel Aviv, Dec. 13, 2020. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool via AP)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that he proposes to be the first Israeli to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

“The risks in not taking the vaccine are far greater than the risks in taking it, and that’s why I’ll get vaccinated first and I expect everyone to get vaccinated,” he told Channel 20.

Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein intend to have their vaccinations in a filmed event by the end of this week. If so, it would make Netanyahu the first world leader to get vaccinated for Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry reported that 1,291 new COVID-19 cases were diagnosed over Shabbos and another 917 were confirmed during Sunday.

The number of serious patients spiked from 321 this morning to 349; 102 are on ventilators.

The total number of cases since the start of the pandemic rises to 356,823, of which 16,801 are active cases.

The death toll increased by 13 since Sunday morning and reached 2,996.

The ministry says 2.9 percent of the 44,853 tests conducted yesterday came back positive. Non-final data for today says 3.8% of 24,073 tests have been positive.

Hadassah-University Medical Center opened an additional coronavirus ward due accommodate the increase in the number of patients, the hospital announced on Sunday.

Three coronavirus wards and one coronavirus ICU are now in operation there. Some 56 patients, including 24 in serious condition and seven who are intubated were being treated in the wards, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Older people have been among those most affected by the pandemic in Israel, according to a new study.

The Eshel social research and development incubator of the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) found that almost half of the respondents (47%) complained of emotional hardships including loneliness, depression and even feelings that “in the current situation, life has no meaning.”

The number was 7% higher than in the last survey conducted by Eshel during the first wave of the virus.

Just over half of the elderly population (51%) reported an increase in symptoms of frailty, while about a third (32%) reported issues with their day-to-day functioning.

While the number of seniors who have avoided medical check-ups has decreased, 25% of seniors still haven’t completed theirs, mostly out of fear of infection, according to the study.

About 200,000 seniors – almost a fifth of the elderly population – reported that their ability to pay for monthly costs was harmed by the coronavirus crisis, as they received less money from work and there was a rise in costs, among other issues.