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19 Dec, 2020 14:25

Less than 25% of Israelis prepared to take Covid-19 jab immediately, poll shows, as country heads for mass-vaccination campaign

Less than 25% of Israelis prepared to take Covid-19 jab immediately, poll shows, as country heads for mass-vaccination campaign

Israeli citizens have demonstrated great mistrust towards the immunization campaign against coronavirus, scheduled to kick off this weekend, a just-released poll shows, with only a fourth prepared to get vaccinated immediately.

Some 25 percent of Israelis have expressed their readiness to receive a coronavirus jab off the bat, the poll, released by Ynet News, has found.

The level of mistrust towards the vaccination campaign turned out to be particularly high among younger Israelis. At the same time, some 50 percent of people over the age of 65 expressed their readiness to get a Covid-19 shot without delay. Moreover, some 82 percent of elder Israelis said they would like to get vaccinated sooner or later.
All in all, only some 63 percent of Israelis plan to get vaccinated, the poll results suggest. The findings are in line with an earlier survey that delved into the immunization plans in Israel.

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A study by Haifa University, for instance, indicates that only about 20 percent of Jewish-Israeli and only 16 percent of Arab-Israeli respondents were amenable to geting a jab right after the start of the mass-vaccination campaign.

"There appears to be a striking lack of trust in a large part of the whole Israeli population, and particularly among Arabs and women, in a Covid-19 vaccine," director of University of Haifa's international master's program in public health, Prof. Manfred Green, said, as cited by local media.

The mass-immunization campaign is expected to kick off late on Saturday, with PM Benjamin Netanyahu, followed by Health Minister Yuli Edelstein becoming the first ones to get a shot. The high-profile inoculation will take place at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv and broadcast live. Netanyahu's PR stunt is aimed at "encouraging the Israeli public to get the vaccine," the PM's office said in a statement, adding that it will make him one of the first world leaders to get vaccinated against coronavirus.

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So far, Israel has registered some 370,000 coronavirus patients, with more than Covid-linked 3,000 deaths, the latest statistics by Johns Hopkins University shows. While the figures are not particularly high compared to the worst-hit nations that have recorded millions of cases, the toll is arguably large for the nation of 8.9 million. The epidemic situation has fueled mass protests against Netanyahu that continue in Israel, on top of allegations of corruption and with accusations of badly mishandling the coronavirus crisis.

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