03:53 GMT19 January 2021
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    MOSCOW, (Sputnik) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to be the first person in Israel to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

    In a video address from quarantine, where he has been since Monday after coming in contact with a person who later tested positive for COVID-19, Netayahu said he asked to be the first to receive the vaccine so as to demonstrate its effectiveness.

    "On Friday, I will leave quarantine and on Saturday evening I will go get vaccinated. I have asked to be the first person to get vaccinated in order to serve as an example and to persuade you that you can and should be vaccinated," Netanyahu said, according to a translation posted on the Israeli government website.

    The prime minister added that millions of doses will be available to Israelis by the end of January and called on citizens to get inoculated.

    Netanyahu explained that after all frontline workers, the elderly and those in risk groups have been vaccinated, subsequent shipments of the vaccine would cover the entirety of the Israeli population.

    Last week, the first doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 produced by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German firm BioNTech arrived in Israel. The Tel Aviv government has signed a deal for 8 million doses of the vaccine, which is already being used in the United Kingdom.

    Israel has also concluded deals with other manufacturers, including the US firm Moderna, for other candidate vaccines. On November 1, clinical trials for Tel Aviv's domestically-produced vaccine against the coronavirus disease began.

    Since the start of the pandemic, more than 357,000 positive tests for COVID-19 have been registered in Israel, resulting in about 3,000 deaths.

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    Tags:
    coronavirus, COVID-19, Benjamin Netanyahu
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