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This policy paper by the Zulat Institute, co-authored with Physicians for Human Rights, presents a series of demands to the Israeli Government concerning its corona vaccination policy and offers practical recommendations from the perspective of the human rights affected by this policy. It addresses the government’s actions, as well as their cost and implications, taking into account the constraints of confronting a new pandemic and finding wide-ranging solutions to an array of public policy factors within a short period of time.
The paper will present policy recommendations, including:
- Financing the vaccination campaign with dedicated funds, so as not to compromise the health system’s budget.
- Purchasing vaccines exclusively by the government to prevent people with means from “jumping the line”.
- Providing free vaccines to the entire population, including asylum seekers, migrant workers, and the Palestinian population in the occupied territories.
- Ensuring an equitable supply of vaccines, without neglecting geographical/social peripheral regions.
- Encouraging vaccination by outreaching to at-risk populations, including incapacitated and bed-ridden elderly people living in the community.
- Ensuring transparency in all decision-making processes.
- Ensuring decision-making by experts in diverse fields and representatives of all sectors of the population.
- Availing information to different population sectors (Arabs and others) and recruiting influencers in all communities.
- Portraying vaccination as a social responsibility that will lead to “herd immunity.”
- Committing to participate in the efforts to promote fairness and justice on the international level as well.
These recommendations ensue from brainstorming by a team of multidisciplinary experts, who overviewed the development, purchase, and rollout of vaccines to the public; the decision-making processes, including the factors considered in the prioritization of the vaccination campaign; the question of informed consent, public responsiveness, and “vaccine hesitancy”; the responsibility of the medical staff and the compensation of vaccine victims, should any occur.