RAMALLAH, Wednesday, March 17, 2021 (WAFA) – Palestine today received the first batch of vaccines from the global COVAX sharing initiative in a boost to inoculations in the occupied territories.
Spokesman for the Health Ministry Kamal al-Shakhra announced in a press release that ministry received today some 62,000 vaccine doses; 38,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in addition to 24,000 of the AstraZeneca vaccine, ahead of the launch of the National Vaccine Deployment Plan, scheduled on Sunday.
He noted that the AstraZeneca vaccine would be stored “until there is a scientific decision from the World Health Organization”.
The Health Ministry said that it would give the initial shipments of the vaccine doses to medics and health personnel, cancer and kidney patients and people over the age of 75.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Mai al-Kaileh expressed concern over the high percentage of the positive Covid-19 tests and the high hospital occupancy rates.
She said that the hospital occupancy rates of hospitals reached 110 percent in the previous week, and the hospital occupancy rates in Ramallah & al-Bireh and Jericho districts in addition to Jerusalem suburbs reached 115 percent.
She added that the occupancy rates in intensive care units (ICUs) were high as over 44 percent of patients in ICUs are connected to respirators.
She went on to say that a mother and her infant died due to the highly contagious virus, the second of such a case in the occupied territories.