PA receives over 100,000 COVID vaccine doses from UN-backed program

The Palestinian Authority says it has received 102,960 Pfizer doses through the UN-backed COVAX mechanism, amid a serious shortfall in available coronavirus vaccines in both the West Bank and Gaza.

According to PA Health Minister Mai al-Kaila, 56,160 were allocated for the West Bank, while 46,800 have been sent to the Gaza Strip. COVAX is an international initiative that seeks to provide free vaccines for poor and middle-income countries.

While life in Israel has nearly returned to normal, the Palestinians have yet to reach anything close to herd immunity. In the West Bank, approximately 11% of the West Bank’s 2.1 million Palestinians have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. Around 105,000 Palestinians with Israeli work permits were inoculated by Israeli medical teams at checkpoints across the area.

The Gaza Strip has seen far fewer Palestinians vaccinated. Only 2 percent of Gaza’s 2 million residents have been vaccinated. Health officials in the coastal enclave have said several factors — including limited supply, fear of the vaccine, and the fact that many Palestinians were already infected with the virus — play a role.

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