It was recently announced by the Health Ministry of the Palestinian Authority that it has successfully struck a deal with the Health Ministry in Israel, to give the coronavirus vaccination to 100,000 Palestinians currently employed in Israel.
The announcement for this agreement came soon after the senior officials of the Health Ministry in Israel, visited Ramallah to have a meeting with their counterparts from Palestine. Together, they evaluated the current situation in light of the coronavirus pandemic and discussed the plan to be adopted if the two wanted to move forward.
The Ministry released a statement in which it acknowledged that Palestinians and Israelis live in close proximity and a coronavirus outbreak in one area, could have a drastic impact on the residents of the other. Senior ministry officials decided to pay a visit to the Health Ministry in PA, where they were given a briefing on the ongoing coronavirus situation in the area, as well as the statistics related to the current active cases and the death toll. They were also informed about the epidemiological investigations and morbidity data.
The visit consisted of the Director-General of the Health Ministry, Chezy Levy, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, the Head of the Public Health Services, and Prof. Nachman Ash, the Coronavirus Commissioner.
It is not an everyday occurrence for Israeli officials to travel to Ramallah for a meeting. The visit came soon after reports surfaced that the Health Ministry will be providing Palestinian workers with the coronavirus vaccine from Moderna.
Earlier in the year, Israel had nearly 100,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine delivered. However, none of these were distributed, as per a source from the Health Ministry. As of now, these vaccines are in a logistics unit of the Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, located in close proximity of the Ben-Gurion Airport.
Around 5,000 of these were allocated to the PA to ensure the inoculation of its healthcare workers. However, the Health Ministry has yet to announce details about how exactly these vaccinations will be administered on the workers.
The PA has further said that Israelis and Palestinians have agreed to continue this cooperation in order to limit the spread of new mutations of the disease. Currently, there are 171,154 active cases of the coronavirus in PA, and its death toll stands at more than 1,900 deaths.
Just last Wednesday, Israel gave the go ahead to around a 1,000 Sputnik V vaccines, to come forth into the Gaza Strip, using the Erez Crossing. This was announced by the Defense Ministry, which also informed that these vaccines had been donated by Russia.
Meanwhile, the transfer had not gone smoothly. There had been some delay as an internal debate had been going on in the State of Israel to decide whether or not the country should demand Hamas to cooperate. Sources have revealed that two Israeli civilians have been held hostage in Gaza, who the Hamas should release. The government wanted this done before the vaccines were allowed to cross the threshold.