Israel to issue virus passes to inoculated

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet may allow vaccine pass owners to attend cultural events.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet may allow vaccine pass owners to attend cultural events.

Israel has inoculated a quarter of its population and has been administering the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to more 200,000 residents a day, the country's health minister says.

Nearly 2.4 million Israelis in the country of almost 9.3 inhabitants have received the first dose, Yuli Edelstein said in a tweet.

Of those, almost 700,000 have already received the second dose, which must be administered three weeks after the first in order for the vaccine to achieve its optimal efficacy.

All Israelis who have been administered the two required doses will be able to apply online for a "green pass" that will allow them to travel without needing to enter quarantine on landing in Israel.

The green pass may also allow them to attend cultural events such as concerts, as soon as venues for these reopen, although the cabinet of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has yet to make a final decision on this.

To avoid discrimination, Israelis who do not wish to get the vaccine will have the option of showing a negative coronavirus test that was taken no more than 48 hours before the event.

Israel is currently in a third lockdown, which earlier this week was extended until January 31.

Australian Associated Press