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Gaza Begins Coronavirus Vaccine Campaign

The Gaza Strip on Monday kicked off its vaccination drive with thousands of Russian Sputnik V inoculations administered to frontline health workers and officials. The tiny coastal enclave, which has registered nearly 55,000 coronavirus cases and over 550 deaths, received 22,000 shot doses from Russian and Emirati donations, well short of the 1.4 million adult Palestinians it has to inoculate. In the West Bank, home to nearly 3 million Palestinians, vaccination efforts began in early February. Israel, which easily leads the world in vaccinations per capita, has faced global criticism for not delivering doses to the Palestinian Authority. Jerusalem has responded by pointing out that the 1990s Oslo Accords, which temporarily regulate Israeli-Palestinian relations, stipulate that each entity is responsible for its own health care. Israel has also transferred more than 2,000 doses of its Pfizer vaccine supply to West Bank health workers, and last week said it would consider obliging the World Bank’s requests to donate more jabs to its struggling neighbor.