Recent efforts by the Masa Israel Journey organization and the Jewish Agency to petition Israel’s Health Ministry came to fruition on Wednesday with the launch of a vaccination program for Masa participants currently residing in the country.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog visited Magen David Adom’s vaccination center in Jerusalem, where hundreds of Jewish youths from dozens of countries, including Uzbekistan, Mexico, Argentina and Tongo, received shots.

Some 5,000 young people who are expected to be vaccinated are participating in a variety of long-term programs in Israel, spanning between four and 10 months. The participants intern at high-tech companies, teach English in schools in the periphery, study at universities, volunteer in the community and more.

According to the approved outline, the vaccination program will span 1.5 weeks and take place at vaccination centers in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Beersheva and Eilat. The Masa participants will be able to receive services, guidance and medical advice in English, French and Russian.

“As of today, some 4.5 million people have been vaccinated in Israel,” said Edelstein on Wednesday. “I’m happy to be here today with the chairman of the Jewish Agency and the wonderful Masa participants. This is a very important vaccination operation. … It’s good we were able to remove all the bureaucratic obstacles that were in our way.”

Herzog thanked the Health Ministry and Magen David Adom for coming together to launch the vaccination program for the Masa participants.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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