China handed over the batch of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines to Palestine on Monday.
Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila described the shipment as the single largest donation of COVID-19 vaccines her country has received so far, and thanked China for its move “to provide coronavirus vaccines as a global public good and its selfless assistance to Palestine.”
Speaking at a joint press conference with China’s Ambassador to Palestine Guo Wei in Ramallah on Monday, the Palestinian minister stressed that the doses would “greatly contribute to accelerating the vaccination campaign.”
For his part, China’s ambassador said the doses “represent the promise made by China to put vaccines at the service of the world and to fully support the efforts of the Palestinian Authority in its fight against the coronavirus.”
Guo also expressed his country’s willingness to “work with Palestine to meet challenges, build a community with a shared future for mankind, and inject new content into the friendly Sino-Palestinian relationship.”
Palestine, which has registered 266,720 coronavirus cases so far, launched a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign on March 21, days after the arrival of Pfizer and AstraZeneca doses numbering 61,440 in total through the COVAX mechanism.
In an attempt to seek a more equitable access to the vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the GAVI vaccine alliance are leading a facility called COVAX to procure and deliver doses of approved vaccines fairly around the world.
The Palestinian health minister said on Friday that only 16,262 people had been vaccinated in the West Bank and 17,272 in Gaza, while more than half of Israelis had reportedly received both doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
While several international organizations have urged the Israeli reigme to abide by its “international obligations” and ensure that coronavirus vaccine doses are provided to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip, the Tel Aviv regime has declined to provide any jabs to the Palestinians.