Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
The Knesset Plenary Hall sitting empty, September 25, 2019.

Israeli lawmakers voted to approve a bill that allows the Health Ministry to provide the personal information of unvaccinated residents to the officials of their municipalities.

The bill passed its second and third reading Wednesday in the Knesset plenum in a vote of 30 to 13.

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Under the new law, the names, identification numbers, addresses and telephone numbers of citizens eligible to be vaccinated but who have not done so, will be passed to an official authorized by the Health Ministry director-general.

The information can be transferred to local authorities, the Education Ministry director-general and Social Service Ministry officials, all of whom are authorized to contact the unvaccinated individuals to urge them to go to be vaccinated.

The new law states: “The information will be passed to the authorities subject to an active request and the presentation of a plan to encourage immunization among the population included in the database,” Ynet reported Wednesday evening.

The Health Ministry will also include in the database the names and personal information of anyone who received the first dose of the vaccine but did not follow up with the second dose.

“In order to reduce the invasion of privacy and prevent misuse of the information, the law stipulates that the information transmitted will be used solely to encourage immunization and any other use of the data is banned,” the Knesset said in a statement.

Officials who receive the information will not be allowed to contact anyone with whom they are familiar in any way. The data is to be purged no later than 60 days after its receipt – but it’s not clear how that will be enforced.

Nor is it clear whether the names of those who have medical reasons for remaining unvaccinated are to be included in the transfer of information for the “persuasion operation.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.