Israel delivered its 1 millionth COVID-19 vaccination on Friday — and is the first in the world to immunize 10 percent of its population.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on hand for the record-setting shot in Umm el-Fahm, according to the Jerusalem Post.
“We have surpassed the whole world” when it comes to vaccinations,” the prime minister said. “We are moving forward at tremendous speed.”
He added, “It is important to me that the Arab public in Israel also vaccinate quickly,” Netanyahu continued. “This is important because it saves lives.”
The milestone comes as the US struggles with a slow rollout of its two coronavirus vaccines, with just 1 percent of the country given the first dose. In New York, once the epicenter of the pandemic, just 32 percent of doses delivered have wound up in residents’ arms.
Israel was on path to hit 1 million vaccinations after dosing 153,000 people with Pfizer’s vaccine on Thursday, according to the Jerusalem Post.
“So how are Israel’s 950,000 vaccinated citizens? Just yesterday we broke another record and vaccinated 153,430 people at 325 vaccination stations across the country,” Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said Friday. “On behalf of all of you, I thank the medical staff for the amazing work.”
The country is seeing a 5.7 percent positivity rate with 5,804 new cases diagnosed Thursday and 1,102 hospitalizations.
Israel is the first country to vaccinate 10 percent of its population, according to a data analysis by Bloomberg. Second is Bahrain, which has administered 57,317 doses to 3.9 percent of its population as of Dec. 30. The UK is in third — but with just 1.4 percent given the first dose of vaccine so far.