JERUSALEM – Israel will begin vaccinating its population against COVID-19 on Dec 20, Israel’s state-owned Kan News quoted a senior Health Ministry official as saying on Tuesday.

Hezi Levi, director-general of the Israeli Health Ministry, instructed the state-mandated health service clinics to prepare for operating vaccination stations on Dec 20.

Israeli hospitals are expected to start vaccinating their medical staff even before this date, the report said.

Levi added that the ministry is still working on a priority list of vaccine recipients, which will be completed in the next two days.

The vaccines will be provided by the US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer.

The first shipment of vaccines is expected to arrive in Israel in the coming days, out of 8 million doses that Israel purchased last month.