West Bank starts inoculations with Covax-supplied vaccines

Dura, West Bank, Mar 21 (efe-epa).- Palestinian health authorities in the West Bank on Sunday administered the first doses of coronavirus vaccinations procured through the World Health Organization’s Covax scheme.

The vaccines are available first for healthcare professionals in public and private hospitals, people over 75 years old, and those with certain diseases.

The vaccination campaign comes a day after President Mahmoud Abbas was inoculated and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) announced it will ease current restrictions and introduce a partial lockdown in the West Bank from Monday.

On Wednesday, the Palestinian territories received Pfizer and AstraZeneca doses through the World Health Organization’s Covax mechanism, aimed to ensure that low- and middle-income countries receive vaccines.

Meanwhile, Israel has vaccinated more than 4.5 million people (almost half of its population) and started this month administering shots to 120,000 Palestinians who hold work permits in Israel.

Local and international NGOs have criticized Israel for not supporting the Palestinian territories in their vaccination rollout, claiming Israel is obligated to so according to the international law.

The West Bank, with some three million inhabitants, has been experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases for weeks that led to authorities imposing general lockdown restrictions this month to curb the spread of the virus. EFE-EPA

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