The Philippines is collaborating with a team of medical experts from Israel to learn some of the best practices they employed in their "very robust" COVID-19 vaccination program, a spokesman for the National Task Force on COVID-19 said Monday.
The Israeli medical experts arrived in the Philippines on Sunday afternoon and will discuss with the NTF ways to speed up the vaccinations, said retired general Restituto Padilla Jr.
"They bring a lot of best practices with them especially coming off from the very robust, very quick national inoculation program and rollout that they had in Israel," Padilla said in a CNN Philippines interview on Monday.
Israel in April lifted its policy mandating residents to wear face masks outdoors after it vaccinated most of its population against COVID-19 with the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech.
With the Philippines securing 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, Padilla said the government could learn a lot from the experience of Israel, especially in terms of effectively administering the vaccine, cold chain storage, and logistics.
"By and large, whatever they learned in Israel over the entirety of their mass rollout of vaccines will be beneficial to the Philippines, and that is exactly what we want to get from this collaboration," he added.
The medical team from Israel is composed of Avi Ben Zaken, Deputy Director General of Ichilov Medical Center; Dafna Segol, consultant of Healthcare Policy and Innovation; and Adam Segal, logistics and operations manager of Salomon Levid & Elstein Ltd.
The team will be in the country from June 20 to 25, according to vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr.
The Philippines has so far administered over 8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, of which 5.9 million were first doses and 2 million were second doses.
Some 50 million Filipinos should be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November this year, authorities said for the government to achieve its target of "population protection."