Palestinians receive 72,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses

The Palestinians received 72,000 doses of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine through the COVAX initiative today, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization’s representative to the Palestinians says.

The doses arrived in Ben Gurion Airport on Saturday and were transferred to Nablus and Gaza today, according to the WHO. Around 43,200 were handed to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and 28,800 were sent to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians have lagged behind Israel in vaccinations, even as a stormy debate has raged over Israel’s alleged obligation to immunize them. So far, only around 3.44 percent of Palestinians have received a coronavirus vaccine.

Palestinians anticipated receiving around 400,000 vaccines from COVAX, a global vaccine initiative backed by the United Nations and the WHO. Most of the vaccines COVAX anticipates providing are AstraZeneca vaccines.

An Israeli Defense Ministry official has confirmed the transfer.

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