Israel received its first shipment of coronavirus vaccines on Wednesday and a distributor predicted the country would have enough for about a quarter of the population by the end of the year, Reuters reports.
A cargo plane landed at Ben Gurion Airport carrying what officials said were tens of thousands of doses of Pfizer Inc. vaccines for a trial run of transportation and storage procedures.
“I believe in this vaccine. I expect that it will get the requisite (regulatory) approvals in the coming days,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an airport ceremony, adding that he intended to be the first Israeli to be vaccinated. Israel will begin administering the vaccines on Dec. 27 and is prepared to vaccinate 60,000 of Israel’s 9 million citizens per day, Netanyahu said in a televised address later on Wednesday.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech agreed last month to provide Israel with 8 million doses of the vaccine, which Britain became the first country to administer on Tuesday.
Israel has also ordered vaccines from Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc.
Israel has reported 348,968 coronavirus cases and 2,932 deaths.