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30,000 Filipinos receive free COVID-19 jabs in Israel

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Mar 17, 2021 8:39 pm

About 30,000 Filipino caregivers, agriculture students, and staff of the Philippine Embassy in Israel have been inoculated with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for free, the Israel Embassy in Manila announced Wednesday.

Filipinos with expired working permits were also given free vaccine shots according to the Embassy.

Israeli Ambassador Rafael Harpaz said in a statement that the free access to COVID-19 vaccine is another way of thanking Filipinos, especially the caregivers for helping their country during the pandemic.

“Israel is thankful for the Filipino caregivers for helping the elderly and the disabled Israeli citizens during the COVID-19 outbreak. For many years, the Israeli government has been providing the Filipino caregivers with full access to the advanced medical services of our country,” the ambassador said.

Israel, being one of the world leaders in COVID-19 vaccinations, has already vaccinated 5.2 million people out of its 9.3 million population. More than half of its population has received at least one dose of its vaccine of choice—Pfizer—and at least 4 million people have received both shots of the vaccine.

As part of its vaccination campaign, which began in December 2020, Israel’s Ministry of Health has vaccinated for free anyone who is in Israel, regardless of citizenship status or whether or not they have insurance. This includes 400 Filipino agriculture students who are currently in Israel for the country’s Agrostudies program.

With its rapid vaccine rollout, Israel is targeting to fully inoculate 80 percent of its entire population by May 2021.