In Brief: Israel starts jabs for East Jerusalem Palestinians as Gaza drive begins

CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Israeli Magen David Adom paramedics today began vaccinating Palestinians in East Jerusalem. Those targetted for the covid jabs – which are being carried out at the Qalandiya crossing – are residents of Israel but live beyond the security barrier which cuts through the eastern half of the city. Israel also agreed with the Palestinian Authority on Friday that it will vaccinate all 122,000 Palestinians who work in the Jewish state, many of them in construction and agriculture. Some – including Palestinian healthcare workers in Israel – received their jabs earlier this month. The agreement followed a meeting in Ramallah between PA and Israeli health officials including coronavirus tsar Nachman Ash. “We welcome this,” Palestinian health minister Mai al-Kaila said on Saturday. “We need to vaccinate our people, so we can end the pandemic everywhere.” Israel has also transferred several thousand doses of its vaccines to the PA to allow West Bank healthcare workers to receive inoculations. Some 10,000 Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines have also arrived in the West Bank, with 2,000 shipped by the PA to Gaza last week. The Hamas Ministry of Health publicly launched its vaccination drive on Monday. The PA Ministry of Health says it has secured deals with four companies that will provide enough vaccines for 70 percent of its people. It also said it expects to vaccinate about 20 percent of the population with doses supplied under the international WHO Covax scheme. Covax says an initial 240,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and 37,440 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive this month in the West Bank.
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