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As Vaccinations Lag, Israel Combats Online Misinformation

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FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021 file photo, an Israeli military paramedic prepares a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, to be administered to elderly people at a medical center in Ashdod, southern Israel. After racing to a quick start, Israel is blaming online misinformation for a sudden slowdown in its campaign to vaccinate its adult population. Israel's Health Ministry, which is spearheading the vaccination efforts, is employing both carrots and sticks as it tries to persuade reluctant holdouts to get immunized. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)

(AP) — Israel is blaming online misinformation for a sudden slowdown in the vaccination campaign, after the country surged ahead in the race to inoculate its population against the coronavirus.

Israel’s Health Ministry has spearheaded the vaccination efforts, and is now employing both warnings and incentives to persuade reluctant holdouts to get immunized. It has beefed up a digital task force to counter what it calls fake news about the vaccines.

Local governments are turning to DJs and offer free food to lure people to vaccination centers. Concerts and museums could soon be off limits to the unvaccinated.

 

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