Offices should encourage skeptics: Israel releases data from non-vaccinated people

Offices are designed to encourage skeptics
Israel releases data from non-vaccinated people

Israel is vaccinating faster than any other country in the world. Parliament now allows the data of vaccination opponents to be passed on. Those affected then get an encouragement call, for example. The opposition fears that such information could fall into the wrong hands.

In Israel, certain authorities will in future be allowed to pass on the names and contact details of people who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The law that has just been passed gives local authorities as well as individual positions in the Ministry of Welfare and Education the opportunity to "encourage people to be vaccinated by speaking personally," said a statement from parliament. It was adopted by the MEPs with 30 votes in favor and 13 against. The measure applies until the corona pandemic is declared over, but at least for three months.

Israel has already vaccinated around a third of its residents. With a so-called Green Pass, vaccinated people can use closed facilities such as fitness studios again during the lockdown. This regulation and the new law fuel fears among critics that people who do not get vaccinated will be disadvantaged.

"More young people get sick"

The leader of the Labor Party, Merav Michaeli, accused the right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of denying "citizens their right to privacy regarding their medical data". The law stipulates that the information collected should be deleted after 60 days and not used for purposes other than "encouraging vaccination".

MEP Chaim Katz of the right-wing conservative ruling party Likud defended the law against allegations that it violated privacy. Katz said more and more young people became seriously ill with the coronavirus. "Is privacy more important than life?" Left liberal MP Tamar Sandberg said she was also in favor of vaccinations. However, the transmission of private data is dangerous; they could fall into the wrong hands, she warned.

Around 70 percent of people in Israel over the age of 16 have been vaccinated against the coronavirus at least once. Around 4.5 million Israelis have received the first vaccination and around 3.15 million have already received the second vaccination. Israel is a very young country and has around 9.3 million inhabitants. A third of them are under 16 years old. The younger ones cannot be vaccinated yet. For comparison: Germany has around nine times as many inhabitants as Israel. So far, around 3.5 million people there have received a first and almost 1.9 million a second vaccination. Israel has so far registered more than 760,000 corona cases and 5,600 deaths related to the virus.