PM Bennett receives third coronavirus vaccine
PM Bennett receives third coronavirus vaccineKobi Gideon, GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday morning received his third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine at Kfar Saba's Meir Medical Center.

"A few weeks ago, I told the public that if we get vaccinated in Elul (the last month of the Jewish year - ed.), we will be able to celebrate the holidays with our families in Tishrei (the first month of the Jewish year - ed.)," Bennett said in a statement.

"I am telling you now: It's in arm's reach. It sounded unreal, because the Israeli public is used to spending holidays in lockdown."

"It's in arm's reach, but we're not there yet," he emphasized. "I'm telling you clearly: If you go get the third vaccine, we'll be able to avoid a fourth lockdown. We are at the peak of the battle at this very moment."

Health Ministry Director General Professor Nachman Ash on Thursday night accepted a recommendation by the advisory staff for coronavirus issues that Israelis over age 40 be vaccinated with a booster dose.

The recommendation suggested that five months from receipt of the second dose, a booster dose be given to those over age 40, healthcare workers, educators, caregivers for the elderly, and pregnant women of all ages.

Following the decision, Prof. Ash updated the Directors General of the HMOs, and beginning from Friday, those 40 and over can call their health funds to schedule a third dose.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Bennett compared booster shots to "charging your smartphone," and said it was absolutely normal that booster shots should be required.

In January, however, Bennett blasted former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his "failed" management of the pandemic and for pushing the vaccines. "What happens when the next mutation comes along?" Bennett asked then. "Are we going to be giving people vaccine shots every minute? It's not like upgrading your smartphone."