Russians vaccinated with Sputnik to be allowed into Israel

Russians vaccinated with Sputnik to be allowed into Israel

Israel will allow Russian tourists vaccinated with Sputnik V, the Russian-made COVID vaccine, to enter the country for the next two months. 

The decision comes ahead of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s scheduled Friday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia. The Sputnik V vaccine is not recognized by Israel, the World Health Organization, or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Russians who received the Sputnik V vaccine will be able to enter Israel on the strength of a blood test showing sufficient antibodies to the virus, rather than a PCR swab test. People with an insufficient antibody count might be allowed to choose between immediate return to Russia or isolation in an Israeli hotel.

Israeli officials told Haaretz that the move is the result of recent pressure from Russian officials. One official said the arrangement will be limited to two months in order to permit Russia to obtain WHO recognition for its vaccine, after which Israel would recognize Sputnik V fully.

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