In a major development, the Israeli government has announced on Sunday that it will provide Coronavirus vaccines to Palestinians with work permits, who have been residing within Israel and the West Bank. The development comes days after the Palestinian government informed that it has entered an agreement with the Jewish state to vaccinate 1 lakh migrant workers.
In a statement by the Israeli military for civil affairs in ‘Palestinian territories’, it said, “(Israel will) conduct a vaccination campaign for Palestinian workers with employment licenses in Israel and in the communities across Judea and Samaria (Biblical names for West Bank). The military said that the move has been approved by the incumbent political dispensation.
It must be mentioned that Israel has vaccinated half of its population in just a span of two months. Amidst global calls for vaccinating the Palestinian population in West Bank and Gaza, Israel has decided to go ahead with the plan. Interestingly, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is reportedly planning to supply vaccines to Hamas terrorists, who are in control of the Gaza region and determined to destroy Israel. PA will receive 2 million doses, besides the ones from the United Nations’ Covax programme.
Israel is using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to vaccinate its citizens under the country’s universal national health system. More then 4.6 million people out of total population of 9 million have received the vaccine so far. It is interesting to note that Pfizer has guaranteed a steady supply of vaccine doses for Israel in exchange for access to anonymized data from the digitized medical file that is maintained for almost every Israeli citizen. This data has allowed scientists from universities, the health ministry and Pfizer to track the vaccine’s impact with unprecedented speed, providing even better insight then the clinical trials. This data reveals that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is even more effective than originally estimated in preventing serious disease and death, it is safe for nearly all adults, and the vaccine is almost completely free of serious side effects.
Israeli health officials urge govt to vaccinate all Palestinians
On Monday, Israeli health officials have urged the government to vaccinate the entire Palestinian population against the Coronavirus. Itamar Grotto, the former Deputy Director-General of Israel’s Health Ministry, said, “This is really important, to vaccinate the entire Palestinian Authority population, and I believe it will go this way. This is the recommendation of all the experts, and I believe that politicians will follow our recommendations…We are starting to give them more and more vaccines. It is an important objective, from a public health point of view, and of course also from a humanitarian point of view.”