WEST BANK (Dispatches) – The Palestinian Authority has registered Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev said Monday.
According to the press release, the first delivery of the vaccine will arrive to Palestinians within a month.
"The Sputnik V vaccine’s high quality and efficacy are stimulating growing interest from more and more countries. This translates into wider geography of its registration, delivery and production. We are happy that on top of Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America Sputnik V will now also be present in the Middle East. This will allow us to further combine forces for a quicker joint victory over the coronavirus infection by guaranteeing access to an effective and safe vaccine for more countries and their people,” Dmitriev said, as quoted in the RDIF press release.
The Palestinian Authority also said on Sunday it expects to receive its first COVID-19 vaccine doses in March under a deal with drugmaker AstraZeneca, and accused the Zionist regime of shirking a duty to ensure vaccines are available in occupied territory.
Yasser Bozyeh, the Palestinian general director of public health, told Reuters that in addition to reaching an agreement in principle with AstraZeneca, the Palestinians had also sought supplies from several other companies.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement the Zionist regime had been "ignoring its duties as an occupation power and committing racial discrimination against the Palestinian people, depriving them of their right to healthcare.”
"The search by the Palestinian leadership to secure the vaccines from various sources doesn’t exempt Israel from its responsibilities towards the Palestinian people in providing the vaccines,” it said.
Under accords with the occupying regime, the Palestinian Authority exercises self-rule in the West Bank. Hamas resistance movement runs the Gaza Strip.
On the West Bank, the regime has given vaccines to Zionist settlers, but not to Palestinian residents.
Human rights groups including Amnesty International say the Zionist regime has a legal obligation to provide vaccines for Palestinians under occupation.
A WHO official said on Sunday the organization had held "informal discussions” with the regime over allocating some supplies to the Palestinians to inoculate health workers.