Today was a holiday at the MysticLand Elementia School. Scorch and Felix were using this time to make a pretty and sparkly greeting card for Scorch’s penfriend. As expected, Verum was perched in front of her crystal ball. It soon started glowing a vibrant shade of blue.

“Mysticals, my crystal ball has fetched some vaccine news from Palestine,” said Verum, “The war-torn state has finally received millions of Covid vaccine doses. But now, it has to convince its people to actually get vaccinated.”

“What is Palestine?” said Felix.

“Now, that’s a question with a complex answer,” said Verum, “To put it simply, Palestine is a territory where Arabs were the majority. But Jewish people from all over the world settled there. This led to a war. Post-war, Israel controlled most of the territory with Palestine controlling the West Bank and the Gaza strip,” said Verum, “This conflict is going on even today. Because of this conflict-prone situation, the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and the blockaded (sealed off) Gaza strip have struggled to vaccinate people. They didn’t have enough vaccine supplies.”

“Oh, no,” said Scorch, “That is a difficult situation.”

“But now that Palestine has received about a million vaccine doses, the people are reluctant to get vaccinated,” said Verum, “Some of them would prefer getting vaccinated after 3-4 years of extensive research on the vaccines. But some Palestinians are falling prey to false information and conspiracy theories.”

“What is the solution?” said Felix.

“Well, both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas (a militant group that rules Gaza) have made vaccination compulsory for government employees,” said Verum, “With such measures, they hope to vaccinate people. But it has raised doubts about personal freedom.”

“Are there many Covid-19 cases in Palestine?” said Scorch.

“Unfortunately, yes. The number of cases has increased in the past week,” said Verum, “On Thursday, there were 868 cases in the West Bank while Gaza recorded 1,021 cases on Friday. These are the highest single-day numbers in months. Only 37% of the eligible population has received at least one vaccine dose in the West Bank and about 18% in Gaza.”

“So, vaccination is the need of the hour,” said Felix.