Urgent Need for Vaccine in Palestine

Posted on 13 April 2021

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Only 2 per cent of the population in Palestinian territories have been vaccinated, and the virus is surging out of control.

Over 20,000 patients are currently being treated for the new coronavirus, adding further pressure to an already fragile healthcare system, and leaving medical staff struggling to provide adequate care.

Medicins Sans Frontier (MSF) are calling on both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authorities to immediately step up vaccines and increase efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

In occupied East Jerusalem, all Palestinians are entitled to be vaccinated by Israel, as are medics working at the six Palestinian hospitals there - many of whom come from other parts of the West Bank and Gaza, according to the BBC.

'Palestinians in East Jerusalem have Israeli residency status - so those living there pay Israeli taxes and have access to Israeli health insurance.

Israel did not initially offer the vaccine to other Palestinians until early March, when it decided to start vaccinating all Palestinians who come to work in Israel or in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

There are around 133,000 such workers, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, with many crossing over to Israel from the West Bank on a daily basis.

But this is not the case in the West Bank and Gaza - home to an estimated five million people and regarded as occupied territories by the international community.'