Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited a vaccination center at a high school in Tayibe on Thursday to see first hand how the vaccination campaign was progressing in the Arab sector.
Speaking at the facility, Bennett said, “I came to Tayibe this morning because I care about your lives, your health, and I’m worried about the lives of your parents, your grandparents, who are in danger.
“COVID doesn’t distinguish between religions or faith. It’s a virus that moves from person to person, and I chose to come and talk to the Arab sector because at the moment, the Arab sector has the lowest numbers of vaccination. I want your lives to be as well protected as the lives of my mom and my children. You deserve the same protection, but this time, it’s up to you,” Bennett said.
“The Delta strain is much more contagious than the original COVID virus. When we find a confirmed Delta carrier he has a viral load 1,000 times as high. So every confirmed carrier spreads a lot more virus and infects five times as many people,” Bennett explained.
The prime minister explained that while the vaccines are highly effective, their efficacy wore down with time, so “just like we charge our phones or put gas in the car, we need to ‘top up’ the body’s defense. So the third dose is critical. Most of the fatalities, the vast majority, were not fully vaccinated.”
Bennett said that 105 Israelis had died of COVID-19 this week alone, and 103 of them had not been fully vaccinated.
“There is fake news about side effects – there are nearly no side effects, or very minor ones. People die of COVID, not from side effects of the wonderful vaccines,” the prime minister said.
Bennett urged leaders in Arab society to promote vaccinations, including booster shots.
Meanwhile, senior healthcare officials expect that by Thursday evening, the government will approve COVID booster shots for Israelis age 40 and over, and possibly next week to approve expanding the booster campaign to include people age 30 and up.
The officials expect that in September, booster shots will be approved for all ages.