If you’ve been living in Ireland for the past 12 months, you’ll have seen a very consistent trend- pubs and bars closed, nightclubs and the city streets empty, retail and small businesses operating between opening and closing periods due to a soar in cases every few months as we entered the second and third waves of Corona-virus here in Ireland. Social media platforms have been covered top to bottom with the dismay of many about the vaccination efforts so far in Ireland.
We are seeing Israel slowly returning to normality, Australia easing all restrictions from this Monday and how other countries have handled zero-Covid relatively well and others making great progress on rolling out their vaccination process. The discovery of millions of Astrazeneca vaccines in Italy has led to bitter tensions between the European Union and the company that had it’s vaccine suspended last week in several European countries due to blood clotting fears.
Former Minister for Agriculture and brother of former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Barry Cowen T.D. said today that he had spoken with Taoiseach Micheál Martin and said that 80% of Ireland’s adult population will be vaccinated by the final days of June this year.
Why is Ireland slacking and seemingly falling behind? Let’s examine the situation in the seemingly most successful vaccination centres in the world- Israel.
Videos and photos are circulating the internet of Israel’s bars and other amenities being opened to the public, but only to those who have received their vaccination. Israel now has the ‘green pass’ which allows vaccinated individuals to prove that they have received their vaccine in order to allow them into public spaces such as bars.
On Thursday, Israeli health minister revealed that more than half of Israel’s population had received both doses of the vaccine. The only thing out of place in Israel is that people are still wearing masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and that the green pass is in existence to create some normality for those who have received the vaccine.
Israel plans to have the population fully vaccinated by the end of May, although it is estimated that 10% of those eligible will not take the vaccine. This more than likely won’t cause any disruption to the progression as only a firm majority of people immune will be able to prevent the continued spread of it.
Israel’s daily deaths from Covid-19 has dropped by 85%, 72% decrease of critically ill people with Covid-19 and 86% less cases than was seen during the third wave in January according to Eran Segal, Weizmann Institute of Science. The progress has led to reopening of public amenities including schools and airports, with certain capacity restraints.
While Israeli’s are reaping the benefits of the hasty efforts to vaccinate the entire population, how are their Palestinian counterparts benefiting from such progress?
There has been harsh criticism against Israel on how they have supported or failed to support Palestine’s vaccination process. Israel has included east Jerusalem Palestinians with vaccines. Palestinians employed in Israel and settlements on the West Bank have also been provided with a supply of vaccines. Israel claims that Palestine is responsible for its own process, from which they have received vaccines from Israel, Russia and other vaccine sharing initiatives. According to a poll, only 55% of Palestinians will be willing to take the vaccine, while 43% will not.