RAMALLAH, Monday, December 14, 2020 (WAFA) – The coronavirus vaccine, which Palestine expects to start arriving early next year, will not be compulsory, and priority will be given to medical staff and the elderly, today said Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.
Speaking at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting held in Ramallah, Shtayyeh said his government will adopt the World Health Organization standard in the vaccination.
"All Palestinians are a priority to us. But there are people who are more vulnerable to infection than others, be it medical personnel, ill people, the elderly, etc. All of this will be based on a sound and clear basis," he said.
Minister of Health Mai Alkaila said earlier that the Palestinian government is in touch with Russia, as well as Moderna and AstraZeneca companies regarding purchase of the vaccine.
Palestinian health officials said four million doses of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, are expected in Palestine in the near future.
The alarming surge in the number of coronavirus deaths and cases in Palestine in the last weeks has forced the government to impose a total week-long lockdown on some cities, including Bethlehem, which is getting ready to host the Christmas celebrations in the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
"We understand that no one wants to close his shop, but everyone has to understand that all we do is to protect you and your children," said the prime minister. We have no choice but to stick to distancing and the mask, or the lockdown."