COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccineiStock

According to Health Ministry figures, the majority of Israeli citizens who have yet to be vaccinated against the coronavirus are either Bedouin, Israeli-Arab, or older immigrants from the Soviet Union.

On Sunday evening, the government’s Coronavirus Cabinet is due to convene in order to discuss the starting date for the new academic year, which is expected to be confirmed as September 1. Ministers are also expected to approve the expansion of the national vaccination program to schools, as well as the implementation of a special outline for studies in “red” cities (where contagion rates are high). There are currently 150 red localities, 57 of which are classified as cities.

According to Kan 11, the Cabinet will also reach a decision on the expansion of Green Pass regulations to workplaces in the public sector and parts of the private sector, as well as on the question of whether teachers will be required to present a vaccination certificate, an immunity certificate, or a negative Covid-19 test before returning to work.

Another issue likely to be on the agenda: the format for communal prayer on the High Holidays both in synagogues and at the Kotel Hama’aravi (Western Wall). The Ministry for Religious Affairs is reportedly proposing that ten thousand people be permitted to attend the Selichot prayers at the Kotel. Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana also wants to amend the regulations so that the fines issued for breach of the rules will be paid by congregants themselves, and not by synagogue sextons (gabba’im).

Meanwhile, a serious glitch in the computerized system for serological testing of school-age children caused massive disruption on Sunday, the first day on which the program was expanded to the entire country. Due to overloading of the system, the Home Front Command officials in charge of administering the tests and recording the results were forced to enter the results manually. The Home Front Command hopes to have the computerized system back in operation by Monday.

According to Kan 11, the computer system responsible for coronavirus testing also collapsed on Sunday, also due to an overload, causing a huge backlog. Both systems were apparently installed by the same private contractor.