Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Israel on Monday began sending doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to the Palestinian Authority, the first nation in the world to do so.
Palestinian officials expected thousands of doses of the "Sputnik V" vaccine from Russia, but logistical difficulties have delayed distribution.
Several international bodies previously criticized Israel for initially refusing to send vaccines to the Palestinians. Israeli officials later recommended sending doses because Palestinian workers frequently enter Israel.
Amid concerns about vaccines going to the Gaza Strip, Knesset lawmaker Zvi Hauser called on the government to ensure the vaccines stay with the Palestinian Authority.
PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh told the Palestinian WAFA news agency that the authority expects to receive 50,000 additional doses, mostly from the World Health Organization's COVAX facility.
The West Bank and Gaza have seen 160,000 coronavirus cases and 1,800 related deaths since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University.