China Daily (Hong Kong)

Israel leads way as Australia starts vaccinatio­ns

- AGENCIES—XINHUA

JERUSALEM — Israel is far ahead of any other country in having administer­ed COVID-19 vaccines, with almost half its population having received at least one dose. One in three Israelis has received both doses needed for full protection.

Israel reopened swathes of its economy on Sunday in what it called the start of a return to routine enabled by the vaccinatio­n drive.

At least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine had been given to more than 45 percent of the country’s 9 million people, the Health Ministry said. The twoshot regimen has reduced COVID-19 infections by 95.8 percent, it said.

While shops were open to all, access to leisure sites such as gyms and theaters was limited to those who have recovered from the disease with presumed immunity, a so-called Green Pass status displayed on a special Health Ministry app.

Social distancing measures were still in force.

Globally there had been more than 111 million confirmed cases with more than 2.4 million deaths by Sunday, Johns Hopkins University in the US said.

Australia’s distributi­on of a COVID19 vaccine began on Sunday, with top officials among a small group receiving the first injections a day before the vaccinatio­n program proper starts.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday morning received his first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, in what the government said was an effort to boost public confidence in the vaccinatio­ns.

Jane Malysiak, an aged care resident and World War II survivor in her 80s, was the country’s first person to receive the vaccine, followed by healthcare workers and other officials.

“She’s taking part in what is a very historic day for our country,” Morrison said.

 ?? AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS ?? An Israeli shopkeeper opens for business in Jerusalem on Sunday as a national lockdown against COVID-19 is eased.
AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS An Israeli shopkeeper opens for business in Jerusalem on Sunday as a national lockdown against COVID-19 is eased.

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