Health Minister Yuli Edelstein on Monday evening ordered a halt to the allocation of vaccines to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, after the hospital vaccinated hundreds of teaching staff in violation of Ministry of Health guidelines, Channel 13 News reported.
The vaccines for teachers in Tel Aviv were given at the vaccination center established by the municipality in Rabin Square, according to the report.
The Health Minister's office said Edelstein views the hospital's decision to give vaccines to citizens who are not in priority groups as very serious.
"The Minister instructed the director general of his ministry, Prof. Hezi Levy, to stop the vaccination allocations to Ichilov Hospital and to examine the subsequent vaccination allocations to the hospital. This is a national resource and should be treated as such. The Minister calls on all the vaccinating bodies to vaccinate solely in accordance with the guidelines of the professionals in the Ministry of Health," the statement said.
Ichilov Hospital explained, "We had 4,000 vaccines left that we had to finish by the end of the day. The very large majority of the vaccinated are aged 60 and over and patients with chronic diseases. Some 60-year-olds did not come and we also saw a phenomenon of no-shows."
"In order to make maximum use of the entire stock of vaccines and prevent its extermination, we called in the afternoon for the teaching staff in the city to come and get vaccinated and, to our delight, we managed to successfully complete the entire vaccination campaign and prevent wasting a national resource in favor of a unique population which stands at the forefront and is in charge of what is most precious to us all," the hospital added.
Prof. Ronni Gamzu, director of Ichilov Hospital, said that "the hospital followed the prioritization guidelines of the Ministry of Health. I find it difficult to understand why the Ministry of Health supports the vaccination of police officers, but punishes over vaccinations of teachers when they are in the same priority group and, in my view, even more so as those who are entrusted with caring for what is most precious to us."