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For the past year, the world has fought to limit the spread of the coronavirus, while scientists, regulators, and pharmaceutical companies moved quickly to create vaccines that might protect against the virus and allow normal life to resume. Since December, countries have approved and started to roll out these vaccines to millions around the world. Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates have emerged as standouts in the vaccination race, having reached more of their populations than nearly any other country so far. What is the secret to their success?

On Tuesday, February 2, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. ET, the Atlantic Council hosted Dr. Farida Al Hosani, spokesperson for the UAE Health Sector and manager of the Communicable Diseases Department at the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre; Dr. Manaf AlQahtani of the Bahrain National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus; and Dr. Shoshy Goldberg, the Government Chief Nursing Officer at the Israeli Ministry of Health, for a public discussion moderated by Mr. Jonathan H. Ferziger, nonresident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Middle East programs.

The panel explored how the Israeli, Bahraini, and Emirati governments reached this point in vaccinations, and what the lessons learned might be for other countries—and for future health crises. From vaccine acquisition, to public messaging, to the nuts and bolts of administering millions of doses in just a few short weeks, our distinguished panel addressed the hurdles they have faced and what challenges might come next in administering mass vaccinations.


Dr. Farida Al Hosani
UAE Health Sector
Manager, Communicable Diseases Department
Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre

Dr. Manaf AlQahtani
Bahrain National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus

Dr. Shoshy Goldberg
Government Chief Nursing Officer
Israeli Ministry of Health


Mr. Jonathan H. Ferziger
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Middle East Programs
Atlantic Council

Middle East Programs

Through our Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative, the Atlantic Council works with allies and partners in Europe and the wider Middle East to protect US interests, build peace and security, and unlock the human potential of the region.