On January 7, Israel became the first country in the world to complete the first phase of vaccinations for all residents and employees of elder-care and assisted-living/retirement facilities, according to Magen David Adom, Israel’s national organization responsible for emergency pre-hospital medical care and blood services.

MDA’s Covid-19 vaccination drive for the elderly in residential facilities took about 10 days to reach some 150,000 residents and employees. This week, the second round of the two-dose Pfizer vaccination campaign will begin.

While any Israeli over 60 years old can get the vaccine at his or her HMO clinic, residents of elder facilities did not have to leave home. Specially trained MDA emergency medical technicians came to the facilities, said MDA Director General Eli Bin.

An EMT administers a Covid-19 vaccination to a resident of an elder facility in Karnei Shomron. Photo courtesy of Magen David Adom Spokesman’s Office

“This is an important day when the elderly, parents, grandparents of all of us who are in a high-risk group and a top priority in terms of vaccination received the first vaccine and are about to receive the second vaccine and within 10 days will be vaccinated and protected,” said Bin.

Israel has by far given the most Covid-19 vaccines per capita of any country. As of January 7, 19.55 out of 100 Israelis had received their first dose.

On Saturday night, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced his agreement with Pfizer for “additional huge shipments of vaccines for the State of Israel, which will enable us to vaccinate all citizens of Israel over 16 within two months, by the end of March at the latest.”

“Israel is at the forefront of the vaccinating countries, and Magen David Adom as the national rescue organization will continue to be at the forefront of the fight against the spread of the coronavirus,” Bin said.

Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, MDA teams have sampled about 3,650,000 people for the novel coronavirus.