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Why has Israel done so well with the Covid-19 vaccine?

A sense of emergency—and Benjamin Netanyahu’s election prospects—have led to Israel leading the world

By Daniella Peled   March 2021
A vaccination centre in Jerusalem. Vaccine distribution has moved quickly in Israel Credit: Shutterstock/DEBBIE HILL/UPI

A vaccination centre in Jerusalem. Vaccine distribution has moved quickly in Israel Credit: Shutterstock/DEBBIE HILL/UPI

Israel is the world leader in distributing coronavirus vaccinations per head. As of late January, more than 2.4m residents out of a population of nine million had received their first dose—and while other countries still focus on vaccinating elderly people and the chronically ill, the Israeli government has announced healthy over-40s will now be eligible. Given the country’s religious geography, it’s tempting to describe this as a miracle. But there are some practical reasons behind its stunning success.

Israel not only has an infrastructure geared towards dealing with national emergencies but a uniquely well-organised healthcare system. The country…

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