The Minister of Health, Dr. Mai Al-Kailah, briefed the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) and representatives of a number of civil society organizations on the latest efforts and developments in providing Corona vaccines.
The Minister also briefed the participants on the details of the contracts that the ministry had concluded with supply companies and the current obstacles facing the supply process.
Minister Al-Kailah demonstrated the efforts of the Ministry of Health, the Palestinian Government, and Leadership in their communication with the manufacturing companies to provide the vaccines since their approval. She confirmed that that the Ministry has concluded many agreements with these companies, noting that the problem in providing vaccines was not financial, as budgets have already been allocated for buying the vaccines and some payments were transferred to the companies. However, the problem was rather with companies, as “the leadership” strives hard to ensure our share that was agreed upon and signed contracts to buy.
In this context, the Minister of Health informed the attendees that the Ministry has also registered Palestine in the KOVACS Foundation that provides vaccines to poor countries, which will provide 20% of the vaccine needs.
Minister Al-Kailah also clarified the distribution of the limited vaccines that reached Palestine, 12,000 doses, of which 2,000 were sent to the Gaza Strip, while 10,000 vaccines (covering five thousand people) were distributed in the West Bank according to criteria reviewed by the Minister. The Minister stressed that in the event that the purchased quantities of vaccine arrive, the distribution mechanism will be different, as a clear and detailed plan has been adopted by the ministry to distribute the vaccine according to clear and specific standards.
The Minister of Health called on civil society institutions to cooperate with the Ministry and the government in putting pressure on the international level and on vaccine manufacturing companies to fulfill the understandings and agreements signed with them to start supplying the vaccine to Palestine as soon as possible.
In turn, the representatives of the institutions praised the great efforts made by the Ministry of Health and the Palestinian medical teams in responding to the pandemic, in light of the unprecedented high infection rates.
They stressed their willingness to work with the Ministry to communicate with international actors and partners to speed up the process of securing vaccines for our people.
It was also agreed that the Ministry would publish its plan regarding the distribution of vaccines, distribution standards, places, and procedures for obtaining the vaccine and include first-hand details, in the Ministry’s daily report, the number of vaccines that arrive in Palestine and the number of recipients of these vaccines.
Representatives from Al-Haq, the Coalition for Integrity and Accountability – Aman, Juzour Foundation, NGO Network, Health Work Committees, and community figures from the West Bank and Gaza Strip attended the virtual meeting.