PA rolls out coronavirus vaccine drive

After months of delays and logistical issues, the Palestinian Authority begins its public coronavirus vaccination campaign.

“The wheels are churning, and we are on the way to vaccinating everyone who needs and deserves a vaccine,” Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh tells reporters in Ramallah.

Around 9,800 vaccine doses had been distributed in the West Bank before today. But even that small number of doses has been dogged by accusations of nepotism and corruption, although the PA maintains that most of the shots were administered to frontline health care workers.

Despite the public fanfare, however, the PA has so far been able to secure only enough doses to inoculate around 2.5 percent of its population against the coronavirus. An additional 105,000 Palestinian workers have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine from Israel.

Shtayyeh says that he is optimistic that more coronavirus vaccines will arrive soon. Numerous deadlines provided by PA officials for the vaccine’s arrival have fallen through, however.

“By the middle of next month, we expect to receive another 100,000 doses from our friends in China, as well as another 50,000 from Russia,” Shtayyeh says.