More than 30,000 Filipinos have received free coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines in Israel.
Filipino caregivers, agriculture students, staff of the Philippine embassy, as well as those with expired working permits were among those who were given free Pfizer vaccine shots.
“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,” Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Rafael Harpaz said in a statement.
“The free access to COVID-19 vaccine is another way of thanking them and ensuring their health and safety,” he added.
In 2018, President Duterte paid a visit to Israel and signed an agreement with the government of Israel to regulate the working conditions of Filipinos.
“Israel always took good care of the Filipino caregivers, and especially during this pandemic,” the ambassador said.
Israel also noted it has provided significant assistance to the Philippines since the outbreak of the pandemic to help in its fight against COVID-19
The Israeli government turned over several donations including personal protective equipment to the Department of National Defense and the Philippine National Police frontliners.
Education equipment was also donated to the Department of Education to aid distance learning. "Israel also continues to share its experience and knowledge in emergency and pandemic response with the Philippines through webinars, courses, and joint meetings."
Israel is leading the world in inoculating its population against COVID-19, with more than five million people or half of its population, already having received the vaccine.
The Israel’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has vaccinated for free anyone who is in Israel, regardless of their citizenship status, or whether or not they have insurance, as part of the government's successful vaccination campaign.