In a letter to the Prime Minister
ICHR calls on the government to clarify the criteria for distributing the Corona vaccine
Ramallah / In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), Office of Ombudsman, demanded clarifying the criteria for distributing Covid-19 vaccines in Palestine, publishing a regularly updated plan to tell citizens about the vaccine distribution mechanism and outlining the current prioritizing criteria, at this time when there is no sufficient quantities of the vaccine. This should be according to the best standards set by specialized international institutions, including the World Health Organization.
This came in a letter addressed by ICHR to PM Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh, expressing concern about the information and reports received on distribution of the limited quantity of Covid-19 vaccines that reached Palestine, with no clear, specific and transparent information about the number of these vaccines, way of distributing them and who enjoyed priority, and the oversight mechanism for that.
In its address, ICHR confirmed that lack of a clear published mechanism and standards for citizens on how to access the vaccine has led to public confusion, a growing feeling of distrust in the fairness and integrity of the distribution process, and some feeling of discrimination and inequality. ICHR noted that it documented cases where the vaccine was administered based on mediation and personal relationships, without a justified medical priority.
The letter also indicated that ICHR monitored cases of officials assisting their relatives in obtaining the vaccine, without any medical justifications that would give them this priority.
The Commission also stressed the need to give priority to the most vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, people with chronic diseases, some cases of people with disabilities, workers in health professions, and those who interact closely with people infected with the virus. It demanded the need for having 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.