On April 17, Israel’s Director of the Ministry of Health Prof. Hezi Levy announced the amendment in the country’s Public Health Order, dropping the mandate on wearing face masks outdoors beginning April 18. Wearing face masks became mandatory in the country in April 2020.
Israel is mask-free! This is the result of aggressive & mass vaccination. pic.twitter.com/yreYRtksTd
— Vibhinna Ideas (@Vibhinnaideas) April 20, 2021
With less than 100 new daily cases and more than half of the age group qualifies to receive doses of vaccine, Israel has now become one of the leading countries that emerged successfully from their COVID-19 response. Citizens over the age of 16 qualify for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, 81% of which have already received both doses.
Vaccination in Israel
MASK-FREE. Face masks are no longer mandatory in Israel in the latest return to relative normality, boosted by a mass-vaccination campaign against the coronavirus disease. Amir Cohen, Reuters #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/2WKYBrOr0t
— ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) April 19, 2021
Vaccine rollouts began as early as December 2020 in Israel. In just two weeks, the country was already able to vaccinate 9% of its population.
Out of approximately nine million, 56% are fully vaccinated while 60% have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, according to a tracker by The New York Times. This means over 10.3 million doses have been administered, with 116 out of 100 people.
Despite the ability to finally go mask-free outdoors, citizens are still required to wear face masks indoors and follow other safety protocols, especially at venues like houses of worship, stores, and malls.
Aside from the amendment in the Public Health Order, schools in Israel have fully reopened beginning April 19 after closing in September 2020.
Who is fully vaccinated?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an individual is fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose in a 2-dose series vaccine or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.
Vaccination in the Philippines
As of April 13, 2021, 3,025,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to the Philippines; 1,255,716 of which have been administered to recipients. Nearly 1.1 million Filipinos have already received their first dose of the vaccine while 162,065 have already been fully vaccinated, which is 0.2% of the country’s population.
As of writing, the Philippines has over 945,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases with a death toll of 16,048.