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Palestinians without COVID-19 jab as ‘Israel’ begins mass vaccination

‘Israel’ will next week commence a large-scale vaccination programme for its citizens to combat the spread of COVID-19 and eventually usher in a new phase of ‘normality’, in a year that has recorded over 1.6 million global deaths related to the disease. [1] [2]

However, Palestinians may have much longer to wait, as wealthy countries continue to build stockpiles for their people while poorer countries are left struggling to afford the vaccine.

According to an article by Al Jazeera, the world’s richest nations have already procured around 9 billion out of the estimated 12 billion doses that are expected to be produced in 2021. [1]

‘Israel’ has signed individual agreements with Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer to provide 6 million, 10 million, and 8 million respective doses of each pharmaceutical company’s vaccine. [3] [4]

This raises questions as to what support is available for countries such as Palestine, which is already under significant strain due to the occupation of its lands by ‘Israel’ and tight restrictions on movement and healthcare.

The World Health Organization has this year established the COVAX initiative, a collaboration with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, an international organisation established in 2002 in Geneva with the aim of boosting access to immunisation in poor countries. [5]

The COVAX scheme hopes to provide free doses of the vaccine for up to 20% of the population of poor countries, and this is one route that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is considering tapping into.

Dr. Ali Abed Rabbo, Palestinian Health Ministry Director of Preventative Health, said that the PA is in discussions with AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, and the producers of a Russian vaccine, but has yet to sign any contracts other than COVAX. Dr Abed Rabbo added:

“The remainder will depend on Palestine purchasing from the global supply, and we are working with several companies.” [1]

Unfortunately, the COVAX programme has only secured a very small amount of the 2 billion doses it plans to acquire next year, so it remains to be seen when countries will be able to take advantage of the scheme.

The United States has already bought in excess of 200 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which has a 94.1% efficacy rate. [6] The United Kingdom has bought 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, as well as 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. [7]

In shā Allāh, developing countries including Palestine will be able to receive adequate supplies of a safe vaccine in order that they too can recover from this deadly virus that has hijacked global affairs for the entirety of 2020.










About Shaheer Choudhury

Shaheer is a regular news writer for Islam21c. Alongside this position, he also currently works as a casework coordinator at the UK-wide charity, HHUGS. He maintains a strong interest in politics and current affairs, and on the varying worldwide situations of Muslim communities. Prior to working for Islam21c, he developed a number of years' experience in the health and social care sector, and has previously volunteered at the Muslim Youth Helpline.

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