East Jerusalem/Gaza Strip, 25 May 2021: The State of Palestine received today 102,960 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines (56,160 for the West Bank, 46,800 for the Gaza Strip), delivered through the COVAX facility. These vaccine doses were transferred to the Ministry of Health’s ultra-cold chain and vaccine storage facilities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
“UNICEF delivered last week lifesaving medical supplies, including vaccines, as part of an organized convoy on behalf of other humanitarian agencies,” said Lucia Elmi, UNICEF Special Representative to the State of Palestine. “UNICEF in partnership with WHO will continue to support the Ministry of Health with ongoing COVID-19 response efforts and will bring in additional COVAX vaccines in the coming days,” Elmi added.
The latest escalation risks worsening an already poor humanitarian situation, especially in the Gaza Strip, where the struggling health sector is already burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak in the Gaza Strip will likely be exacerbated as displaced people were forced to seek shelter in close proximity to one another in schools, relatives’ homes, and other designated shelters during the latest escalation.
Some 30 health facilities in the Gaza Strip were damaged or destroyed in recent hostilities, including the almost total destruction of Al Shawa primary care clinic and substantial damage to Rimal clinic in Gaza City, the only major COVID-19 testing laboratory in the Gaza Strip.
Note to editors:
UNICEF has delivered in the past two months the following doses
– On 17 March, UNICEF delivered 61,440 doses (37,440 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and 24,000 doses of the Astra Zeneca) of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility.
- 43,200 doses for the West Bank
- 28,800 doses for the Gaza Strip
– On 19 April, UNICEF delivered 72,000 doses of AstraZeneca, COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility.
- 43,200 for the West Bank.
- 28,800 for the Gaza Strip
– More than 72,000 Palestinians had to leave their homes fleeing the violence, nearly half are children. Upward of 50,000 people sheltered in overcrowded schools, with a further 20,000 people sheltering with host community members and relatives.
COVAX is the vaccine facility of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.
COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF as key implementing partner, as well as civil society organisations, vaccine manufacturers, the World Bank, and others.