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ICHR calls for transparency on COVID vaccine roll-out

Graphic: Vaccine distribution centre in Gaza Strip

ICHR calls on the Palestinian Government to clarify the criteria for distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) has called on the Palestinian Government to clarify the distribution criteria for COVID-19 vaccines across the country.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh, the ICHR demanded that the government publish a regularly updated plan to inform citizens about vaccine distribution mechanisms and priorities.

The ICHR urged the government to distribute the vaccine in accordance with the best standards set out by specialised international institutions, including the World Health Organization.

In the letter, the ICHR expressed concern about reports on the limited quantity of COVID-19 vaccines available in Palestine, and said that the lack of clear, transparent information had led to public confusion and a growing feeling of distrust in the distribution process.

ICHR noted that it had documented cases of the vaccine being administered without medical prioritisation, including cases where officials had assisted their relatives in obtaining the vaccine, without any medical justifications that would give them priority.

The Commission stressed the need to prioritise the most vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, people with chronic diseases, people with disabilities and workers in the health professions.

The Commission also demanded a clear mechanism for citizens to submit complaints if they feel discriminated against or are not satisfied with any aspect of the vaccine distribution process.

Date: 3 March 2021

Source: The Independent Commission for Human Rights

Image credits

  1. Vaccine distribution centre in Gaza Strip - Abed Rahim Khatib on Shutterstock