Tel Aviv City Hall and the Sourasky Medical Center started administering vaccines free of charge to the city’s foreign nationals, many of whom are asylum seekers.
By Associated Press
Dozens of asylum seekers and foreign workers in Tel Aviv lined up to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday as part of an initiative to inoculate the city’s foreign nationals.
Tel Aviv City Hall and the Sourasky Medical Center started administering vaccines free of charge to the city’s foreign nationals, many of whom are undocumented asylum seekers.
On its first day of operation, the vaccination center in southern Tel Aviv, which is home to a large migrant community, dispensed doses to dozens of foreign nationals who lined up outside the building. Posters provided information in English, Tigrinya, Russian and Arabic.
Recipients included foreign workers from the Philippines, Moldova, and Nigeria, as well as Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers.
Garipelly Srinivas Goud, an Indian national who has worked in Israel for eight years, said the vaccine drive was a “very good decision,” adding the he was “very happy” to receive it.
Eytan Schwartz, a Tel Aviv municipality spokesman, said it was the government’s responsibility “to vaccinate everybody within the nation’s borders” and that it would take the next step and start “to vaccinate undocumented asylum seekers as well.”
Israel has pushed to inoculate most of its population since late December. Last week it made vaccines available to all citizens over the age of 16.
It has thus far delivered over 3.5 million first doses of the Pfizer vaccine and at least 2.1 million second doses.
The vaccination campaign has won praise internationally for its quick pace.
The Palestinian regime, which is responsible for Arabs living in the PA-administered areas of Judea and Samaria and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, has continued paying monthly salaries to terrorists, but has failed to allocate sufficient resources for an effective vaccine campaign.
While Israel has not responsibility for Arabs in Palestinian-administered areas, it last week started providing the Palestinian Authority with thousands of vaccines for health care workers.