Embodying the IDF imperative of leading from the front, on Saturday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became the first Israeli to be vaccinated.
Bible Verse: “Mighty Hand Outstretched Arm”
Invoking the Bible, Netanyahu rolled up his sleeve, reciting part of a verse from Deuteronomy:
…by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm… Deuteronomy 4:34
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The PM also paraphrased Neil Armstrong, who, in 1969, became the first US astronaut and the first man to walk on the moon, saying, “ “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Netanyahu, whose achievement was less monumental than Armstrong’s, quipped, “That was a small jab for a man, a huge step for the health of us all. May this be this successful. Go out and get vaccinated!”
Netanyahu expressed hopes that the vaccine would allow the population to return to their routine lives and their jobs.
“This is a very big day for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said before receiving the vaccine. “We have been experiencing for almost a year the worst pandemic that humanity has known in the last 100 years and this is the beginning of the exit. We have brought millions of vaccines to our little State of Israel and everyone needs to be vaccinated. I asked to be vaccinated first with [Health] Minister Edelstein to set a personal example.”
Plan: 20% Vaccinated in One Month
After receiving his shot, Netanyahu was placed in observation for half an hour to monitor for possible allergic reactions. As per the vaccine’s standard use, Netanyahu will receive a booster in three weeks. He has already self-isolated three times after exposure to carriers.
The vaccines from Pfizer began arriving in Israel last week and it is hoped that by the end of the month, there will be enough of the medicine to inoculate 20% of the country’s population. Those over the age of 60, a population considered most at-risk for COVID-29, will be the first to be inoculated. At the age of 71, Netanyahu is in this group. With a population of 9 million, Israel has reported 372,401 coronavirus cases and 3,070 deaths.