20,000 doses of UAE-donated coronavirus vaccine enter Gaza

Gaza, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- Gaza received 20,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine donated by the United Arab Emirates on Sunday that, alongside 2,000 doses transferred from the West Bank, will allow local authorities to start immunizing healthcare workers and patients, the Strip’s health ministry said.

The delivery of the Russian vaccine, which entered the zone through the border crossing with Egypt, was made possible thanks to the Abu Dhabi-exiled Mohamed Dahlan, nemesis of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.

Having received the donation, Hamas authorities on Monday hope to begin vaccinating healthcare workers, people with chronic diseases and those who have undergone organ transplants.

This would be the start of a slow process to inoculate the rest of the Strip’s two million inhabitants.

Dahlan promised to “do everything possible to send more shipments of vaccines and medical equipment.”

Thus far, Gaza has only received 2,000 of 10,000 doses of the vaccine Russia donated to the West Bank-based Palestinian National Authorities.

The PNA is to receive 37,000 doses of the vaccine via the World Health Organization’s COVAX mechanism and has announced a deal with the AstraZeneca pharmaceutical firm for two million additional doses.

Gaza has reported nearly 54,000 coronavirus cases, including 1,900 active cases and 543 deaths.

The restrictions imposed by Hamas in the Strip have reduced the number of cases from more than 1,000 last November to a little more than 100 new infections a day, although authorities fear another spike.


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