Israel to distribute millions of free antigen tests to public

January 19, 2022 by JNS
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Israel is set to distribute millions of free COVID-19 antigen tests to the public, the Prime Minister’s Office announced on Tuesday.

A COVID-19 antigen rapid test Credit: Dronepicr via Wikimedia Commons.

The plan to provide 25-30 million tests to various sectors was approved by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman during the daily coronavirus assessment, Bennett’s office said in a statement.

The goal of the plan is to keep the economy running while safeguarding public health, particularly among vulnerable populations, according to the PMO.

Bennett emphasized that the distribution of the test will be carried out “as quickly and reliably as possible”—and prioritizing welfare-service recipients, retirement-home residents, educators and students.

The announcement comes a day after the Sheba Medical Centre at Tel Hashomer released preliminary results of a study showing that a fourth dose of the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine doesn’t provide adequate protection against the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. It also follows a report from LAHAV, the Israel Chamber of Independent Organizations and Businesses, showing that 2021 saw 70,000 small and medium-sized businesses in Israel go under, while only 35,000 new ones opened.


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