Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's national emergency service, rolled out a vaccination campaign Wednesday for Palestinian workers who hold valid work permits.
MDA's vaccination program includes all Palestinian workers allowed to enter and work within Israel, while the Palestinian Authority (PA) currently gives the vaccine only to a select few, such as medical personnel.
“Palestinians can come and get vaccinated, including those who have Palestinian Authority identity cards and work permits,” one spokesperson told The Times of Israel.
According to another MDA spokesperson, the vaccination program wrapped up on Wednesday at around 5pm but is scheduled to return next week and inoculate workers who wish to enter Israel and were not previously vaccinated.
Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, the PA is responsible for the healthcare of its own population and has repeatedly said it is obtaining its own vaccines via a UN scheme.
However, it could take several months to administer enough vaccines to bring the outbreak under control in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which are home to more than 4.5 million Palestinians. Israel is on track to vaccinate its entire adult population by the end of March.
Meanwhile, Israel recently transferred 5,000 doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine to the hands of PA medical teams on Monday to aid them in their efforts to stave off the pandemic.
The Palestinian Health Ministry announced the start of the campaign in a statement, saying Health Minister Mai al-Kaila received the first dose along with several front-line medical workers. The statement did not acknowledge that Israel provided the vaccines.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.