Tel Aviv: A health official reacted to an agreement with Pfizer on Friday that would allow all Israeli citizens over the age of 16 to vaccinate by the end of March, in exchange for statistical data, saying the pharmaceutical giant had the same information Will get what is available to the public.
“All the information we give to Pfizer is the information we make available to the public,” said Sharon Alroy-Preis, acting head of the Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health. “How many cases, how many serious cases, how fatal, how many vaccinations.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Thursday that Pfizer had agreed to send millions of additional doses to Israel, which would serve as a “model country” for the drug giant, offering statistical data on the vaccine’s effectiveness.
Data-sharing with Pfizer was allegedly a trade-off of Israel’s desire to sell so many vaccines to Israel ahead of other countries. Israel has a highly digitized health system that operates through four national clinic networks.
According to the Globus financial newspaper, the World Health Organization has been involved in assessing Israel’s suitability for the pilot program. Channel 13 News reported that Israel’s ambassador to the US Ron Dermer was also involved in the deal with Pfizer CEO Albert Borla assuring the pharmaceutical giant’s board that Israel would serve as a suitable testing ground for a comprehensive testing program Will do.
Alroy-Preis said that Pfizer would not receive information about the aforementioned health conditions of the vaccinators and noted that data on people experiencing side effects would be made publicly available by the time of vaccination.
“There is no risk of invasion of privacy; No personal data is being provided, ”said Aloyer-Preuss.
When questioned about the issue of Israel giving highly valuable data on the health of its citizens, Alroy-Preuss reiterated that “we insisted that we only transfer the information we make available to the public.” “
The health official said that the Israeli immunization program would provide valuable information about the conditions under which herd immunity can be achieved.
“What we want to see is whether we can make all the public want to be vaccinated, achieve herd immunity and at what stage we can break the curve of infection,” Alroy-Preiss said.
According to official data from the Ministry of Health, more than 70% of people aged 60 and older have now been vaccinated in Israel. Israelis’ total number is around 1.7 million, giving Israel the highest per capita vaccination rate globally.
Three weeks after the program, the country will begin giving the second dose of vaccine on Sunday.
The Health Ministry announced on Friday that teaching staff in the unique education system would be given priority for the first dose next week, with the teachers’ union considering the strike as justified.
Besides, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said last week that the government would prioritize all teachers in their coronavirus vaccination efforts, regarding a previous policy in which they worked against municipalities who vaccinated hundreds of school employees.
Israel’s vaccination campaign is in full swing, even as the country grapples with a surge in affairs and a third lockdown.