Sheba Medical Center becomes global focal point of COVID-19 vaccination

Science and Technology Minister Izhar Shay receives the coronavirus vaccine, Sheba Medical Center, December 20, 2020
(photo credit: SHEBA MEDICAL CENTER)

Israel is ranked first in the world in the number of COVID-19 vaccination doses administered per capita, according to official data published on Wednesday.

With Israel leading the world in its rapid vaccination effort, Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer became the largest hospital in Israel and the Middle East region to administrate the COVID-19 vaccine.
Only three days after launching its nationwide coronavirus vaccination campaign, Israel was ranked first in the world in the number of COVID-19 vaccination doses administered per 100 people, according to official data collected by Our World in Data published on Wednesday.
According to recent data, Israel and the UK outrank other countries by far, with Israel ranking at 0.83%, followed by the UK with 0.74%. The US is next with a much lower rank of 0.19%. The world average stands on 0.03%.
By Christmas day, Sheba will have vaccinated more than half of its 9,000 hospital staff members while the hospital also initiated an intensive effort to vaccinate members of the Israel Police, Holocaust survivors and the general population.
Regarding testing, Sheba keeps going with its rapid corona test program for educational institutions in order to maintain Israeli schools open, as the country is heading to its third lockdown.
“We have been on the front-lines of the battle against COVID-19 since the government of Israel asked us to treat the Diamond Princess passengers, who arrived at Sheba on February 21," said  Sheba Medical Center Director-General, Prof. Yitshak Kreiss.
"After dealing with life-or-death corona patient scenarios for nearly a year, we are extremely proud of our medical staff’s heroic day and night efforts to put an end to this pandemic," he continued.
This Monday, Sheba will begin Phase 2 clinical trials with the Israeli BriLife vaccine from the Institute of Biological Research, which will feature hundreds of volunteers.
In January, Sheba’s COVID-19 Clinical Trials Department will also begin Phase 2/3 trials with other vaccines emanating from the USA and Australia. Sheba, which has been ranked amongst the Top 10 Hospitals in the World by NEWSWEEK magazine in 2019 and 2020, is internationally renowned for its innovation and research efforts.
“Our rapid vaccination program, alongside all of the other technologies we are using to treat patients, will accelerate the State of Israel’s ability to be amongst the first nations in the world to emerge from this medical crisis and return the people of Israel to a sense of normal daily life,” said Kreiss.
On Wednesday, the Health Ministry announced that starting next week, hospitals throughout the country will also start administering coronavirus vaccines, joining clinics run by the country’s health funds in the effort to vaccinate as many citizens as fast as possible.
Some 65,000 people were vaccinated in Israel on Wednesday, according to Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, who expressed hope of increasing the pace even further. A total of 140,000 Israelis have been vaccinated so far.
As the pace of providing vaccinations increases, it is estimated that Israel will soon be administering between 70-80 thousand vaccinations per day.
Tobias Siegal contributed to this report.

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