Israel Sends COVID-19 Vaccination Shipment to The Palestinian Authority

Published February 2nd, 2021 - 09:21 GMT
A health worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at Clalit Health Services, in Israel’s Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv on Jan. 23, 2021. (File/AFP)
A health worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at Clalit Health Services, in Israel’s Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv on Jan. 23, 2021. (File/AFP)

Israel on Monday began sending doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to the Palestinian Authority, the first nation in the world to do so.

Israeli officials sent the first shipment of 2,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to Palestinian medical teams. The rest of an expected 5,000 doses will be sent in three more shipments.

Palestinian officials expected thousands of doses of the "Sputnik V" vaccine from Russia, but logistical difficulties have delayed distribution.

Several international bodies previously criticized Israel for initially refusing to send vaccines to the Palestinians. Israeli officials later recommended sending doses because Palestinian workers frequently enter Israel.

 

Amid concerns about vaccines going to the Gaza Strip, Knesset lawmaker Zvi Hauser called on the government to ensure the vaccines stay with the Palestinian Authority.

Hauser emphasized in a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz that Israel "must establish a new equation ... based on humanitarian reciprocity."

PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh told the Palestinian WAFA news agency that the authority expects to receive 50,000 additional doses, mostly from the World Health Organization's COVAX facility.

The West Bank and Gaza have seen 160,000 coronavirus cases and 1,800 related deaths since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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