Israel’s first batch of Pfizer coronavirus vaccines landed on Wednesday amid pomp and ceremony with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailing it as a “great holiday” and saying he would volunteer to be the first to be vaccinated.
A DHL flight from Brussels carrying over 100,000 doses of vaccine landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport.
Another plane with about half a million doses will arrive in Israel over the next few days, and a million more are scheduled to arrive next week.
“What’s important to me is that people of Israel get vaccinated. I believe in this vaccine. I want the people of Israel to get vaccinated and so I intend to be first,” Netanyahu said.
“I have been serving as Prime Minister of Israel for more than a few years and this is one of the most moving moments that I have worked on very hard, for long months, with the Health Minister and the people of his ministry, in order to bring relief and a solution to the coronavirus pandemic.”
“We will bring millions of vaccines here for the citizens of Israel,” Netanyahu said, adding that his eighth conversation the night before with Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla.
“We are here today on a great holiday for the State of Israel. We see the end. We still need to follow the rules regarding masks, hands and distancing, but the end is in sight,’ he said.
He added that it was “not self-evident that the State of Israel, a country with nine million inhabitants, receives the vaccines at the same time as the leading countries of the world.”