Israel has rolled out the fastest Covid-19 vaccination campaign in the world, inoculating more than 55% of its population with at least one shot since late December. The small country—with roughly nine million people, about the same as New York City—is pushing to fully vaccinate most of its population by the end of March, but faces fresh challenges as it enters a new phase to convince vaccine holdouts.
While Israel’s vaccination campaign is relatively simple compared with the mass mobilizations needed by countries such as the U.S. that have many more people spread over a greater sweep of geography, the effort offers some clear lessons.
Bring the Vaccines to the People
Israel has begun to transition away from its early efforts to deliver vaccines at large venues and clinics to mobile vaccination sites, aiming to make it easier for those sitting on the fence to get vaccinated. Health officials say they are hoping to reach those who aren’t making the decision to seek the vaccine out but who aren’t opposed to getting jabs if they are easily accessible.
Refine Administrative Acts
Israel’s healthcare providers are reaching out early and often to those eligible to receive vaccines, via applications, text messages and websites. Some cities are also offering free food and even vouchers for alcoholic beverages in bars to entice people to vaccinate.
Israel, which is providing the vaccine free of charge to everyone, has also rolled out a green passport system that allows those who have been vaccinated to show a QR code on their cellphone to access gyms, hotels, bars, restaurants and other venues closed off to people who aren’t vaccinated.