Coronavirus vaccinations begin in Gaza

Coronavirus vaccinations have begun in the Gaza Strip amid concerns the amount of doses secured is not sufficient to stop the spread of the virus.

Health workers in Gaza started receiving shots on Monday after Israel allowed the first batch of the Russian-made vaccine to be transferred to the area.

Gaza, which is controlled by the Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas, has secured 22,000 doses, a far cry from its population of 2 million.

More than 50,000 infections have been confirmed in Gaza, where the medical care system faces many challenges.

Meanwhile, inoculation of health professionals in the West Bank began on February 2.

But the area has seen slow shipments of doses from sources such as the British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and the COVAX Facility, an international framework to ensure fair access to vaccines.

The United Nations has been calling on Israel to support vaccinations for Palestinians. The inoculation drive in Israel has been one of the fastest in the world.

Israel agreed with the Palestinian Authority on Friday to vaccinate 100,000 Palestinians who work in Israel. But it remains unclear when a sufficient number of Palestinians will be vaccinated to help stop the spread of the virus.