Israel’s “Operation Back to Life”

January 20, 2021 09:58
Photo: Reuters

Coronavirus knows no borders. Countries all over the world are facing the same challenges to public health and their economies.

As Hong Kong is preparing to roll out its own mass coronavirus vaccinations, I would like to share with you how Israel is leading the world’s vaccination campaign.

Israel made the tough choices early on – closing borders and schools, shuttering businesses, and limiting all non-essential activities – and sustained a burst of innovation surrounding the pandemic that included start-ups and drive-through testing centers to telemedicine and vaccine research.

Israel now boasts the highest per capita vaccination rate of any country in the world, outpacing all others by far.

“Operation Back to Life”, Israel’s speedy and ambitious vaccination drive, began in late December 2020. Just a few weeks later, over 2 million Israelis have received their vaccination shot, and the country is on track to vaccinate all citizens over the age of 16 by the end of March and becoming the first country in the world to vaccinate its entire population to serve as the world's key experimental subject by sharing its statistical data with Pfizer and the world.

In fact, Israel's small population of some 9 million and its highly efficient public health system with a uniquely advanced level of digitization mean that the country is demonstrating the efficacy of the vaccine and developing global strategies to overcome the pandemic.

Over the years, Israel has developed a high-quality level of individual patient care, and all Israeli citizens and permanent residents are guaranteed healthcare under the country’s National Health Insurance Law. There are thousands of clinics spread across the country, ensuring that each and every local community is served.

Israel also introduces the green certificate initiative to encourage vaccination and allow us to get back to life, with the potential of access to gatherings and cultural venues and reopening of businesses.

With these extraordinary efforts, we hope that on this year’s Passover Seder night, families will be able to gather together around the table once again.

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Consul General of Israel in Hong Kong