Palestinian Health Minister strikes possibility of obtaining Pfizer vaccine


Published: 2020-12-10 15:07

Last Updated: 2023-03-27 19:55


Wednesday, the Palestinian Minister of Health Mai Al-Kaileh announced that the the impossibility of obtaining the Pfizer vaccine for Palestinians, adding that the state will most likely have to rely on UN support to supply the vaccines.

“We expect that our first vaccination will be around the end of January, early February, by March it will be with us,” she told reporters.

Health authorities called the Pfizer vaccine a “poor choice” for Palestinians due to transport and storage requirements which are unavailable and unobtainable to them.

The vaccines must be stored at negative 70 degrees Celsius and must be administered within five days of removal from the storage.

“We have only one freezer in Palestine for storage, and it won’t hold large quantities,” said Al-Kaileh.

The preferred vaccine for poorer countries is the AstraZeneca vaccine, which can be kept in normal fridge temperatures, is the one vaccine Palestinians are most likely to get through the WHO’s COVAX initiative. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has filed an application for the program which aims to provide up to 20 percent of the population of low-income countries the vaccine free of charge.

The spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health, and the Head of the Coronavirus Portfolio Kamal Al-Shakhra said to the ‘Voice of Palestine’ radio Thursda that authorities have corresponded with many agencies and there will be responses regarding securing vaccines within a day or two.

Priority will be decided prior to the vaccines arrival in the coming weeks, and it will be given to the rest of citizens afterwards.

Palestine is on the “verge of a health disaster,” he added, noting that the Israeli Occupation received four million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with more to come before the end of December.

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