Photo Credit: Wisam Hashlamoun / Flash 90
Palestinian Authority health worker tests an Arab worker for coronavirus at an Israeli-PA checkpoint in Meitar, near the city of Hebron, on April 23, 2020.

The IDF will launch a Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination campaign for workers coming from the Palestinian Authority (PA) to work in Israel in the coming days, the IDF’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced Sunday. The PA is currently facign a surge of Coronavirus cases, and some hospitals are on the verge of collapes.

“As part of the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus” and in accordance with the COGAT’s recommendation and Israel’s Ministry of Health, Israel’s leadership approved on Sunday the vaccination campaign for Palestinian workers with employment licenses in Israel, “in order to maintain public health and the functioning of the economy.”

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The operation, led by the IDF’s Central Command, COGAT, the Ministry of Health, and the Crossings Authority, will begin in the coming days and will include the establishment of dedicated vaccination complexes at several crossings in Judea and Samaria and in industrial areas throughout Judea and Samaria.

The workers will be vaccinated by Israeli medical teams with Moderna vaccines, which have been assigned by the state.

Israel allocated 5,000 vaccines from its stock to inoculate the PA’s medical staff, but they have taken only 2,000 so far.

Muhammad Dahlan, a senior Fatah official who currently resides in resident in the United Arab Emirates, has purchased 20,000 doses of the Russian-developed Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines for the Gaza Strip.

10,000 doses of the Russian vaccine had been transferred to the PA, which transferred 1,000 to Gaza for healthcare workers there.

Another 37,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are set to arrive in the coming weeks through COVAX, an international vaccine mechanism that aims to provide free vaccines, for up to 20% of the PA population.

From March to July, some 405,000 AstraZeneca vaccines are expected to be delivered to the PA.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.