© The Curious Gnome/US State Department.

Israel creates vaccine pass, shares names of unvaccinated

Israel has passed a law allowing the names of unvaccinated people to be shared among government agencies.

The new law will give the ministries of education, welfare and local governments access to the names in order to “enable these bodies to encourage people to vaccinate by personally addressing them”, according to the parliament.

One third of the Israeli population has received two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine so far, with these people receiving green passes ten days after the second shot in order to access gyms and other services such as restaurants.

The unvaccinated have so far not been granted permission to access a range of services as the country emerges from its lockdown, whilst those who have contracted the virus are being given a green pass.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party defended the latest decision to share medical information on unvaccinated people by saying life is “more important”.

“I’ve been asked what about people’s privacy: Is privacy more important than life itself?” Likud’s Haim Katz asked the parliament.

Opposition politicians like Merav Michaeli, who leads the Labour Party, accused the government of infringing on people’s rights by “denying citizens their right to privacy”.

The parliament however issued a statement saying the data will only be used to encourage people to get vaccinated, and not for any other purpose.

“The information will be deleted after its use within 60 days,” the Knesset statement reads.

“A person who was contacted can demand that his details be deleted and that they not be contacted again.”

Benjamin Netanyahu called on the public to accept the vaccination and “return to normal life”, sharing his hopes that two-thirds of the nine million Israeli citizens would be fully vaccinated by the start of April.

“More than a million adults are not yet vaccinated,” he said.

“In the world, people are waiting for vaccines, (but) here vaccines are waiting for people.”

Some of the country’s excess vaccines are now being sent to nations that Israel wishes to improve relations with.

The Czech Republic, Hungary, Honduras and Guatemala are all set to receive thousands of Moderna vaccines from Netanyahu’s government, whilst Syria will also receive a tranche in exchange for an Israeli prisoner being held in the north of the country.

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