March 4 – Palestinian authorities have been criticised for prioritising the national football team in the country’s roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Human rights groups say the region’s tiny vaccine stockpile has been offered to players and senior officials before medical workers.
According to agency reports, to date Palestine it has only acquired enough doses to inoculate 6,000 people in a population of nearly 5 million.
The Independent Commission for Human Rights and Aman, a Palestinian group that promotes transparency, has called on the Palestinian government to explain the criteria used for distributing the vaccines.
The ICHR said it had documented cases in which the vaccine was distributed “based on mediation and personal relationships, without a justified medical priority,” including to the national football team.
Defending its vaccination programme, the health ministry said players were vaccinated because they needed vaccination certificates to be able to travel “to represent Palestine” in international fixtures.
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