Israel negotiates vaccine swap with ‘another country’ after Palestinians reject expiring Pfizer jabs
Israel hasn’t given up on the idea of exchanging nearly one million Pfizer shots set to expire by the end of July for newer doses and is now in talks about such a swap with a foreign country, the Israeli health minister said.
“We have contacts with another country that I hope will come to fruition in the next few days,” Nitzan Horowitz told local Channel 13 News on Sunday.
The health minister didn’t name the country in question, saying that it could undermine the ongoing negotiations over a vaccine swap.Also on rt.com ‘Expiry date too close’: Palestinian Authority scraps deal for Israel to swap 1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses
Israel, which has fully vaccinated more than half of its population, has around 1.4 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine that are set to expire by the end of this month. Tel Aviv plans to use about 600,000 of them to vaccinate children aged 12-15, while the other 800,000 doses are left in limbo.
The Jewish state doesn’t want to throw away jabs worth millions of dollars, instead offering to exchange them for a future delivery slated for another country.
Such a deal was offered to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in mid-June, with the first shipment of Israeli doses even arriving in the West Bank. But Ramallah canceled the deal and sent the jabs back, saying that the “their expiry date was too close.” News of the deal prompted backlash among Palestinians, triggering calls to investigate the officials responsible who approved the swap.Also on rt.com Israel to transfer more than 1 million Covid-19 shots which are due to expire to Palestinian Authority
Earlier this week, reports in the Israeli and British media claimed that Israel and the UK were negotiating a vaccine exchange. The two sides were reportedly eager to find common ground, but the deal fell through due to unspecified technical issues.
The office of new Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, said on Sunday that the PM had spoken with Pfizer CEO, Albert Bourla, several times over the past few days, discussing the possibility of swapping the expiring jabs with other nations. The pair were “maintaining continuous telephone contact” and were working to address the Israeli vaccine conundrum, it stated.
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