Israel has emerged as a world leader in vaccine rollout. The country has given vaccines to some 15 percent of its nine million population in two weeks, giving jabs to 150,000 people per day. Manfred Green, professor of epidemiology at the University of Haifa, says there are two key reasons behind the speed of Israel’s vaccination program.
Green explained, “Israel was very proactive in taking out options on the vaccines, which was kind of risky in terms of the amount of money [spent]. But in the end, it paid off and we’ve be able to access several vaccines.” The second reason is Israel’s centralized health system.
Every Israeli is legally required to join one of the country’s four public health bodies, known as Health Maintenance Organizations, renowned for digital data gathering and overall efficiency. The HMOs’ reputation helped it in “early bird” negotiations with pharmaceutical firms, presenting Israel as a good place to pilot a mass-vaccination program.