- Title: Gaza gets its first COVID-19 vaccine shipment
- Date: 17th February 2021
- Summary: EREM SHALOM CROSSING, GAZA (FEBRUARY 17, 2020) (REUTERS) TRUCK CONTAINING VACCINE CROSSING INTO GAZA SIGN ON EXTERIOR OF CROSSING IN ARABIC LANGUAGE READING "Kerem Abu Salem Crossing" VARIOUS OF HEALTH WORKERS OPENING VACCINE BOXES IN BACK OF TRUCK GAZA CITY, GAZA (FEBRUARY 17, 2020) (REUTERS) MINISTRY OF HEALTH VEHICLE EXITING THE MINISTRY'S COMPOUND MINISTRY OF HEALTH BUILDING GAZA HEALTH MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON, DR. ASHRAF AL-QIDRA (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GAZA HEALTH MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON, DR. ASHRAF AL-QIDRA, SAYING: "As expected, we were informed by the colleagues in the ministry of health in the occupied West Bank that 2000 units of vaccine will be sent to the Gaza Strip, and it is enough to inoculate 1,000 patients." HEALTH MINISTRY SIGN ON THE WALL UNDER PALESTINIAN COAT OF ARMS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GAZA HEALTH MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON, DR. ASHRAF AL-QIDRA, SAYING: "The vaccine will be provided to the groups of people previously specified, tomorrow morning 'Thursday'" VARIOUS OF PAINTING ON WALL OUTSIDE HEALTH MINISTRY SHOWING HOUR-GLASS WITH HEALTH WORKER TIGHTENING KNOT AROUND THE CENTER STOPPING THE INCREASE OF CORONAVIRUS GREEN SPECS
- Embargoed: 3rd March 2021 12:47
- Keywords: COVID-19 Gaza Hamas Shipment Sputnik V Vaccine inoculate
- Location: GAZA CITY AND KEREM SHALOM CROSSING, GAZA
- City: GAZA CITY AND KEREM SHALOM CROSSING, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Health/Medicine,Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA001E0187D3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Gaza received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday (February 17) after Israel approved the transfer through its border with the Hamas Islamist-run territory, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.
Gaza, where two million people live, has reported more than 53,000 coronavirus cases and 538 deaths.
The shipment, sent by the Palestinian Authority from the occupied West Bank, included 2,000 doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, enough to inoculate 1,000 people in a two-shot regimen.
"The vaccine will be provided to the groups of people previously specified, tomorrow morning 'Thursday'" said Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra, the Health Ministry spokesperson.
Shipment of the vaccine, via Israel, to Gaza had drawn criticism from right-wing Israeli politicians.
They had called on the Israeli government to make the transfer conditional on the release of two Israeli civilians believed held captive by the militant group and the return of the remains of two Israeli soldiers killed in the 2014 Gaza war.
But Israel, leading the world in the speed of its own vaccination programme, has also come under pressure from rights groups to do more to ensure vaccines reach Palestinians in territory it captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
Palestinian officials, blaming Israel, said a transfer planned for Monday had been canceled.
Officials in the Palestinian Authority said they submitted the vaccine transfer request to Israeli defence authorities soon after receiving an initial shipment of 10,000 Russian doses in the West Bank on February, 4, 2021.
The delay highlights the challenges Palestinians face inoculating citizens across the West Bank and Gaza - two geographically-divided areas which are home to 5.2 million Palestinians.
Israel controls all entry and exit points to the West Bank and most of the coastal and land boundaries of the Gaza Strip, an enclave that Israeli troops and settlers left in 2005.
(Production: Fadi Shana, Mohammed Shana, Nuha Sharaf)
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