Vaccination program for Palestinian workers to resume after delay

During an initial pilot of the program held Thursday, some 700 Palestinians received their first dose of the vaccine.

PALESTINIAN HEALTH WORKERS at a hospital in Nablus, where health workers were vaccinated against the coronavirus disease, after the delivery of vaccine doses from Israel earlier this month. (photo credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)
PALESTINIAN HEALTH WORKERS at a hospital in Nablus, where health workers were vaccinated against the coronavirus disease, after the delivery of vaccine doses from Israel earlier this month.
(photo credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)
Israel's program to vaccinate 120,000 Palestinian workers is set to resume Monday, after a one-day delay.
During an initial pilot of the program held Thursday, some 700 Palestinians received their first dose of the vaccine.
The program was set to begin full force on Sunday, but was delayed for a day.
Palestinians who work in sovereign Israel and in West Bank settlements can receive an initial injection of the Moderna vaccine over a two week period, followed by a second injection a month later.
This program, in which the vaccines would be administered by Israeli medical teams, is the largest vaccination drive available to the Palestinians.
It has been organized in conjunction with the Office the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the Health Ministry. Magen David Adom has also participated in the program.
To date the Palestinians have received only 22,000 vaccines for Gaza and 10,000 for the West Bank, although additional vaccines are on the way there is no exact date for their arrival.
Israel has vaccinated provided over 5 million Israelis with their first dose of the vaccine and over 3 million Israelis with two doses. 
According to the World Health Organization only some 6,174 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have received one dose. 
Additional doses are expected to arrive in March from the UN and WHO affiliated international vaccine alliance called Gavi. It is expected to vaccinate 20% of the Palestinian population by the end of 2021.
Through the program's global COVAX AMC facility, 37,440 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive in March as well as 24,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moved early to ensure Israel would have viable vaccines by purchasing doses from four companies Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Arcturus, of which only Pfizer and Moderna have so far arrived. Arcturus is still in the its Phase II trial stage. 
Israel is expected to prioritize vaccinating Palestinians, once its own population has been vaccinated.