Palestine takes delivery of 150,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine

Palestine takes delivery of 150,000 doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine
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A health ministry statement said that one million out of four million doses ordered from Pfizer had so far been received.
The PA identified 199 new coronavirus infections in the West Bank on Thursday [Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Getty]

The Palestinian Authority (PA) said on Thursday it had taken delivery of 150,000 doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, amid an upsurge of Covid-19 cases in the occupied West Bank.

A health ministry statement from the Ramallah-based PA said that of four million doses ordered from the pharmaceutical giant, one million have been received so far.

The rest should be delivered in batches by the end of the year, it added.

At the end of last month, Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila had warned that Palestine was facing a fourth wave of the coronavirus, and urged people to be vaccinated because of the spread of the more contagious Delta variant.

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The government also indicated that unvaccinated officials would have to take unpaid leave until they had been jabbed.

On Thursday, authorities identified 199 new coronavirus infections in the West Bank, which is home to 2.8 million Palestinians. In July, only a few dozen cases a day were recorded.

There have been 2,503 deaths from coronavirus in the West Bank out of a recorded 200,838 cases. In the Gaza Strip, 1,111 people have died out of 117,985 recorded cases.

On Thursday the PA transferred 100,000 doses to Gaza, an enclave of two million people ruled by the Islamist group Hamas.

About half of these were the Russian Sputnik vaccine, and the other half were from Pfizer.

Of the 626,300 people so far vaccinated in the West Bank and Gaza, 427,000 have received both doses.

In Israel more than half the population, or about 5.4 million people, have received two doses.