How has Israel launched the world’s fastest COVID vaccination drive?

Having ramped up to a 24/7 operation, health providers are administering the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at a rate of 150,000 people a day – almost 2% of the population…

Still, many other countries share those characteristics. Israel’s initial success is also being attributed to its healthcare system, which pre-dates the state’s creation and is now highly digitalised. Everyone over 18 is obliged to register with government-linked insurance agencies, and army medics have been called in to help.

In tandem, the government has launched a vigorous campaign against anti-vax misinformation. The justice ministry successfully petitioned Facebook to remove four groups that published “content designed to mislead about coronavirus vaccines”.

Citizens are also being encouraged to get the jab by officials who have dangled the prospect of a “green passport”, a document that would allow vaccinated persons to eat in restaurants, travel freely and be exempted from quarantine. However, as there is no proof that vaccines reduce transmission, the idea has been met with scepticism.