Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Israel on Tuesday announced that health officials there have given the COVID-19 vaccine to four million people.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein were present as the four millionth recipient, Theodore Slazzen, received his dose at a Leumit Health Services clinic in Jerusalem.
The two leaders used the event as a pro-vaccination message.
Israeli officials say more than half of the four million recipients have already received their booster dose.
Netanyahu noted, however, that 570,000 people in Israel over the age of 50 have not yet been vaccinated.
"Almost 100% of the dead and seriously ill are concentrated in this group," Netanyahu said at the event Tuesday.
"When you're not going to get vaccinated because of this little sting ... you take on the risk of death and the risk of serious illness."
Netanyahu stressed a national importance for residents getting vaccinated, as Israel is beginning to reopen its passport program.
"So to save your life and allow us all to come back to life, go get vaccinated," he added. "Please, do it now."
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been about 730,000 coronavirus cases in Israel and 5,400 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.