COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccineiStock

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Monday received 72,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine as part of the international COVAX initiative, i24NEWS reported, citing a spokesperson for the World Health Organization.

The doses arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport on Saturday and were transferred to Shechem (Nablus) and Gaza on Monday, according to the WHO.

An Israeli Defense Ministry official confirmed the transfer.

About 43,200 vaccines have been handed over to the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria and 28,800 have been sent to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, according to the report.

So far, only about 3.44% of Palestinian Arabs have received a vaccine against the coronavirus.

The PA officially launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign in February, after Israel transferred 2,000 doses of Moderna vaccines and said it had earmarked another 3,000 shots for Palestinian Arabs.

Despite getting thousands of doses from Israel as well as vaccines from Russia and as part of the COVAX initiative, the PA has been critical of Israel and has accused it of holding up the transfer of vaccines.

At the same time, the PA has acknowledged it provided COVID-19 vaccines to senior PA officials and to the Jordanian royal family.