British teens on their gap year in Israel have had their first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, courtesy of the country’s lightning-fast inoculation programme.
FZY Gap Year participants were the envy of their mothers and fathers stuck at home in the UK this week after they got their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in the small southern Israeli town in Yeruham.
The youngsters are believed to be the first gap year programme participants in Israel to get the jab, after staff were informed of spare vials in the nearby medical centre that would otherwise have to be thrown away.
After liaising with their health insurance provider and the Yeruham vaccination centre they booked private busses ASAP to make there before it closed.
“When we saw that vaccines were available, we moved quickly to ensure that our year coursers could receive them,” said FZY director Imogen Wise.
“It is truly fantastic these FZY members have received their vaccine many months before their peers will in the UK… We look forward to an exciting and healthy rest of the year together with the group.”
The vaccines they received are understood to have been classed as spare after the medical insurance provider rolling it out in Yerhuam said it had vaccinated all those in its vicinity that wanted to attend. It left several hundred vaccines over, which needed to be used by the end of the day or be thrown away.
Ariella Basger, a 19-year-old FZY participant from south Manchester, said: “I feel so excited that I was able to receive the vaccine and so grateful to be in Israel on an FZY Year Course so that I could get it so early. I really hope this marks the beginning of the end of a difficult year.”
The group had just completed their first semester in Tel Aviv, where they volunteered for Magen David Adom, and will shortly move to Jerusalem to volunteer in the Jewish Agency’s Machon L’Madrechei Chutz L’Artetz study programme.
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