Photo Credit: David Cohen / Flash 90.
Heads of religious communities in Israel get a COVID-19 vaccine at the Ziv Hospital in Tzfat, Dec. 24, 2020.

“The first dose of vaccines from Russia will arrive in the Palestinian Authority over the coming week,” Hussein A-Sheikh, the PA’s Minister of Civil Affairs, said in a conversation with TPS.

A-Sheikh visited Russia last week and close a deal on the reception of the Sputnik V vaccines.

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The PA is expected to receive about 200,000 vaccines in the first shipment and they are intended for 50,000 members of the Authority’s medical and emergency staff. Russia donated 5,000 vaccines.

However, it is not yet clear whether the vaccines will arrive through Ben Gurion Airport or through Jordan.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh says that in early February the vaccines purchased by the UN’s COVAX program will arrive for the vaccination of 20% ​​of the PA’s residents.

The Authority has also approved the purchase of two million vaccines from AstraZeneca and it is expected to begin soon with the vaccination of doctors, the elderly population and patients as well as the vaccination of security personnel. The vaccination campaign will last about four months and will include 70% of all residents of the PA and the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Hamas in Gaza eased the conditions of the lockdown with a slight decrease in morbidity and allowed foot traffic on weekends. In the PA areas, it was decided to allow mass prayers in open places on Fridays.

There are now Close to 6,000 corona patients in the Gaza Strip and another 4,000 patients in the PA.

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Baruch reports on Arab affairs for TPS.