Israel has vaccinated more than a million people against Coronavirus, but the recipient of the milestone jab had served time for manslaughter.
Israel’s Health Ministry said earlier this week that the country had beaten its target of 150,000 daily inoculations for the second straight day. By Thursday, nearly 800,000 of its nearly 9 million citizens had received the first of the two doses involved in the Pfizer vaccine.
On Sunday, Israel announced its 1 millions vaccination. It later emerged however, that the man who received it killed someone four decades ago.
Times of Israel reported that Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab Jabarin, 66, who was pictured with Benjamin Netanyahu after getting the jab, was found guilty of manslaughter, and finished serving his 14-year sentence in 1992.
The Prime Minister said the milestone of a million jabs was a moment of “great excitement”.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein met this afternoon, at the anti-coronavirus vaccination facility in Umm Al-Fahm, the 1,000,000th person in Israel to be vaccinated. https://t.co/f5NaUrMuzw pic.twitter.com/hOYU5f0X8j
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) January 1, 2021
Jabarin said: “The director of the health clinic told me that you going to be the millionth vaccinated person. I thought he was telling me that I had won a million! And then he told me that Netanyahu would come now. Suddenly the prime minister greets me, it was exciting”, he said according to Times of Israel.
He added: “The truth is that I was offended. Why hurt me because of Netanyahu? I’m an honest person. That was over 30 years ago,” he said. ” I didn’t set up the meeting”.
Israel has now vaccinated more than 8 percent of its population, compared to the United States which has vaccinated less than 1 percent, according to data reported by the two nations.
Meanwhile, frustration mounted in the U.S., as the Centers for Disease Control reported this week that just over 2 million Americans have been given the first vaccine dose, far fewer than the 20 million targeted by President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed for 2020. Over 11 million doses have been shipped across the country.
In both countries, a lag in data reporting could be behind a skew in the numbers. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious disease specialist in the U.S., expressed concern to CNN on Tuesday.
“Even if you undercount, 2 million as an undercount, how much undercount could it be?” Fauci said. “So we are below where we want to be.”
Both countries are also experiencing case surges. Israel, which has enacted a third nationwide lockdown, reported 5,253 new cases on Wednesday, its highest total since October. In the U.S., California has been particularly hard hit, and the first cases of the new more contagious COVID variant first found in the United Kingdom have been discovered.
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