Over 1.8 mil. Israelis vaccinated against COVID-19

Israel has given the first shots of a coronavirus vaccine to more than 1.8 million citizens. A research organization says that's the fastest pace per capita of any vaccination campaign in the world.

Israel kicked off its immunization campaign on December 19 using a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. It aims to inoculate all citizens aged 16 and older before the end of March.

The Israeli government said in an announcement that 1.85 million people, or about 20 percent of the entire population, were given the first of two doses of the vaccine as of Monday.

It also said more than 70 percent of people over the age of 60 received the vaccine. Those people have priority to receive the shot.

Up to about 150,000 people per day are being vaccinated at hospitals and other venues across the country.

Immunizations are being carried out by a public organization that operates the universal health insurance system. Experts say that an improved public medical system is making the campaign more efficient.

The research organization, Oxford Martin School, which tracks coronavirus vaccinations across the world, says that Israel's vaccination rate is the fastest across the globe, with 20 out of 100 people inoculated in the country as of Monday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still maintaining a tightened lockdown. A successful vaccination campaign could help speed up the decision to reopen of economic activities.