(PNA file photo)

MANILA – Three experts from Israel's Ministry of Health will help the Philippines to further enhance inoculation efforts against coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., also the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer, said in a statement on Sunday that the experts are set to arrive on June 20, 2021 to discuss strategies on vaccine deployment, transition to the new normal, and addressing vaccine hesitancy.

The government, he said, is targeting to adopt Israel's interventions on increasing public uptake, which is to provide incentives for vaccine recipients and restrictions for those who are yet to get coronavirus jabs.

Galvez said Israel’s method allows people who have received the jabs to increase their mobility and slowly return to normalcy, while those who have not been vaccinated will still need to follow quarantine protocols.

Israel's vaccination program has been "highly successful," according to Galvez.

Israel has officially dropped its outdoors face mask policy on April 18, after inoculating more than half of its population with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

It has also reopened schools and revived economic activities.

Boosting vaccine confidence

Galvez commended various local government units (LGUs) and the private sector exerting all efforts to boost vaccine confidence and increase public awareness on the national immunization program.

“With the help of all sectors, unti-unti nang tumataas ang public uptake (the public uptake is gradually increasing). We started with only 32 percent and now we are reaching 60 percent to 80 percent and with more aggressive efforts such as house-to-house campaigns, barangay town hall meetings, and tapping household advocates, tataas pa ‘yan (it would still increase),” he said.

Galvez said LGUs have been offering various incentives to encourage more to get vaccinated, such as raffle draws and giving away sacks of rice, farm animals, groceries, motorcycles, and even a house and lot.

A private sector likewise launched “Ingat Angat Bakuna Benefits” where vaccine recipients will receive exclusive discounts and special gifts from restaurants nationwide.

The government also tapped “household advocates” to encourage relatives to get inoculated. (PNA)