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MOH: Israel to allow entry of children vaccines to Palestine

Dec. 23, 2018 12:40 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 24, 2018 5:31 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Ministry of Health succeeded in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the children’s fund, UNICEF, in pressuring the Israeli authorities to allow entry of children vaccines for 2019 into the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, Assad Ramlawi, confirmed that the ministry will continue to pressure Israel to allow vaccines into the Palestinian territories from WHO and UNICEF, as it has been receiving them from both organizations since 1995.

Earlier this month, Israeli authorities have issued a decree barring the Ministry of Health from importing vaccines, starting from the beginning of the year 2019, which put the supply of vaccinations at risk.

According to UNICEF, the Israeli government is bringing into force laws that have existed since 1986. Ramlawi condemned the decision, pointing out that since the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) took office in 1994, there have been no problems with the issue of vaccinations, and that much has changed since the establishment of those laws, 32 years ago.

Ramlawi pointed out that a lack of vaccination will result in the spread of disease, not only in Palestine, but in the whole of the region, putting millions at risk, particularly children.

Israeli authorities have decreed that vaccines may be imported from only 10 countries. However, the ten countries listed do not have an interest in vaccine production and therefore do not have the required certificate from WHO to export, which means that the Palestinian Ministry of Health cannot import from them in any case.

It is noteworthy that Ramlawi added that for the past 18 years, the Ministry of Health successfully achieved 100% coverage of the area with vaccine provision, resulting in eradication of diseases which are vaccinated against.

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