Religious leaders, health officials and ICRC launch campaign in Gaza to combat COVID-19 vaccine mistrust

Religious leaders, health officials and ICRC launch campaign in Gaza to combat COVID-19 vaccine mistrust

Gaza (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Palestinian Ministry of Endowments and Religious affairs (Awqaf) and the Ministry of Health in Gaza have joined forces to raise awareness of the positive effects of Covid-19 vaccines for the population.
News release 05 May 2021 Israel and the occupied territories

The campaign, which comprises radio spots, billboards,videos,media and social media products, will use trustworthy medical information, health advice, the hadith and verses of the Quran to encourage and reassure people in Gaza that vaccines are safe to take and help to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“In recent weeks, Gaza has been witnessing an alarming increase of COVID-19 cases among the population. However, the vaccine rollout presents a glimmer of hope to overcome this pandemic” said Ignacio Casares, the Head of the ICRC office in Gaza. “Gaza has received over one hundred thousand vaccine doses so far which represent only a fraction of what is needed for a population of over two million. Not only is vaccine availability a problem but we are worried about the skepticism and misinformation that is spreading in Gaza. This campaign aims to support the efforts of the authorities to encourage people to take the vaccine”, Casares added.

In Gaza, religious leaders have played a crucial role in supporting the authorities to contain the spread of COVID-19. The ICRC started its cooperation with the Ministry of Awqaf and the Ministry of Health in the early days of the pandemic and will continue to do so during the vaccination roll out phase.

The campaign covers topics such as the safety of vaccines, practical information for people before and after getting the vaccine, supporting vulnerable groups during the pandemic, and ensuring safe prayers in mosques during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the beginning of the pandemic 14 months ago, the ICRC has supported health authorities and the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in Gaza and the West Bank in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.

For further information, please contact:

Suhair Zakkout (Arabic, English), ICRC Gaza, tel: +972 599 255 381 Or visit our website; www.icrc.org/israel-occupied-territories

facebook.com/ICRCot (Arabic), facebook.com/ICRCil (Hebrew), twitter.com/ICRC_ilot, blogs.icrc.org/ilot