(Al Jazeera) A shipment of 2,000 coronavirus vaccine doses donated by Russia entered the besieged Gaza Strip on Wednesday after Israel blocked it earlier this week.
Palestinian and Israeli officials said the shipment, sent by the Palestinian Authority (PA) from the occupied West Bank, included doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, enough to inoculate 1,000 people in a two-shot regimen.
“We will use the doses to vaccinate patients who had organ transplants and those who suffer kidney failure,” Majdi Dhair, a Gaza health ministry official, told Reuters news agency.
“Medical personnel will not be vaccinated this time as the shipment is not enough,” Dhair said.
Shipment of the vaccine, via Israel, to Gaza had drawn criticism from right-wing Israeli politicians who called on the government to make the transfer conditional on the release of two Israeli civilians believed to be held captive in Gaza and the return of the remains of two Israeli soldiers killed in the 2014 assault on Gaza by Israel.