In Brief: Vaccination progress in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

Israel’s success in rolling out covid-19 vaccinations has continued this week, with more than 100,000 West Bank Palestinians who work in Israel receiving their first dose so far in March.

All Palestinians in East Jerusalem are likewise entitled to be vaccinated by Israel, while a further 2,000 vaccine doses have thus far been donated to the Palestinian Authority. A further 3,000 doses are expected to be transferred by Israel to the Palestinian Authority. The West Bank and Gaza have likewise received vaccine doses from Russia, the UAE and the UN’s COVAX vaccine-sharing initiative, which has said it plans to inoculate a further million Palestinians.

Israel itself hit a milestone today, with 50.07 percent of Israel’s population of 9.2 million having now received both doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, alongside 55.96 percent having received the first dose. According to the Weizmann Institute of Science, the country has experienced a drop of 85 percent in daily deaths related to covid-19, as well as a decrease of 72 percent in the critically ill and 86 percent fewer daily cases since the most recent peak in mid-January.

It is estimated that the entire eligible population will be fully inoculated by the end of May. Israel has issued the fully vaccinated with so-called “green pass” certificates that enable access to certain leisure venues. Since late February, when Israel began easing its third national lockdown, most businesses, schools and airports have gradually reopened.