Israel says it has vaccinated 50% of its population against COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: A man receives a vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a temporary Clalit healthcare maintenance organisation (HMO) vaccination centre, at a sports arena in Jerusalem February 25, 2021. Picture taken February 25, 2021. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel has administered at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose to 50% of its 9.3 million population, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said on Friday.

Israel counts East Jerusalem Palestinians, who have been included in the vaccine campaign that began on Dec 19, as part of its population. Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip are not part of the Israeli campaign.

Edelstein said 35% of Israel’s population had received both doses of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine, putting them on course to receive a so-called “Green Pass” with access to leisure sites that the country has been gradually reopening.

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