Knesset backs bill allowing transfer of personal information based on vaccine status

New bill which aims to 'enable local authorities to help Health Ministry encourage people to get vaccinated' passes first reading.

David Rosenberg ,

COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine

The Knesset voted Monday afternoon in favor of a bill which would enable the government to transfer citizens’ personal information based on their vaccination status to local authorities and the education system.

The bill, if passed, would issue a temporary order, amending the Public Health Ordinance for three months, granting the Health Ministry permission to forward information on the vaccination status of citizens to local authorities and school officials.

The proposed law passed its first reading in the Knesset, with 21 in favor and six opposed, and will need to be brought to the Knesset for its second and third readings before it goes into effect.

The proposal will be forwarded to the Welfare and Health Committee for its preparation for the second and third readings.

In the appended explanatory notes, the bill’s drafters wrote that the law is intended to enable the Health Ministry to enlist local authorities and education officials in “encouraging” the unvaccinated to receive the COVID vaccination.

“These are officials who are able to assist the Health Ministry in encouraging people to get vaccinated, including with individual appeals asking why the person has not gotten vaccinated, or by offering assistance in traveling to a vaccination site, and all in accordance with the Director-General’s instructions.”

The bill also empowers the Health Ministry to request that doctors and public organizations, such as HMOs, transfer personal information and contact information for citizens based on their vaccination status.

Personal information may not be used to pressure citizens into getting vaccinated, however, the bill states.