An assistant teacher was forcibly removed from a kindergarten in Haifa on Thursday after she refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, take a rapid antigen test or even wear a mask.
Israel’s Ministry of Education has mandated that all teachers must either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or take regular coronavirus tests to ensure they are not infected before entering school premises.
When the teacher in question showed up at class on Thursday despite not fulfilling any of these requirements, she was asked by the head teacher to leave. When she refused, the head teacher took the children outside and called the authorities.
A short time later, the anti-vaxxer assistant teacher was forcibly removed and an official complaint against her was filed with the police.
A statement released by the Ministry of Education in response to the incident read:
“The protocol clearly state that teaching staff or educators who are not vaccinated are required to perform a rapid antigen test. If they refuse to take a test, they are strictly forbidden from entering the educational institution.”
While Israel has a very high vaccination rate against COVID-19, there remains a significant local movement against receiving the coronavirus jab. Some one million eligible Israelis refuse to get the Corona vaccine, and have become the target aggressive government campaigns aimed at inoculating the entire population.
In his latest effort to convince these Israelis to be vaccinated, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday launched a robocall campaign. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis received automated phone calls with a recording of the prime minister telling them:
“Hello, this is Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. The Delta strain of the coronavirus is attacking the countries of the world and the State of Israel has the tools to overcome it: Third doses of the vaccine and wearing masks. Studies have proven that the coronavirus vaccine is safe, effective and saves lives. Make an appointment for a vaccine right now.”
Israel on Thursday registered another 11,200 COVID-19 infections, the fourth day in a row of over 10,000 new cases.
At the same time, the number of people hospitalized in serious condition from COVID-19 has dropped by nearly 100 over the past week. Officials attribute this to the rapid administration of Corona vaccine booster shots. Some 2.5 million Israelis have already received a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine.