July 25, 2021

Palestinian Authority denies million doses of Israeli vaccine nearing expiration

Unless otherwise ordered, one million doses of Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19 will go into the trash, for lack of being able to be administered in time in the Palestinian territories. While Israel has been criticized for months for not extending its vaccination effort, the fastest in the world, to the territories it has occupied since 1967, the new government of Naftali Bennett had appeared to make a move in this direction. , Friday June 18.

He announced the transfer to the Palestinian Authority of at least one million doses close to their expiration date. In return, Ramallah reportedly delivered the same number of doses to the Hebrew state in the fall, after having received an order previously placed with the American laboratory.

The Palestinian Authority finally rejected this mechanism, after the Israeli military authority in charge of the territories said it had coordinated the arrival of 100,000 doses. Ramallah considers them too close to their expiration date. “They told us that the expiration date was in July or August, which would leave a lot of time for use”, Palestinian Authority Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila said on Friday, specifying that the expiration date “Turned out to be in June. Which doesn’t leave enough time to use them, so we refused them ”.

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The principle of such an agreement had been negotiated by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, but it was never finalized, as Israel plunged into a long succession crisis. The exchange was announced by Israel five days after Mr. Bennett’s alternate government took office. “We will continue to find effective ways to cooperate, for the benefit of the peoples of the region”, greeted Israeli foreign minister, centrist Yair Lapid.

Photos on social media

Palestinian Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila clarified that the deal was not negotiated with Israel, but directly with Pfizer. It was a question of obtaining a deposit on 4 million doses purchased from the American laboratory. Photographs of the first doses, indicating the expiration date “June 2021” have circulated on social networks. The Palestinian Authority may have feared the criticism that these images aroused: it was accused of accepting last-rate vaccines. While a certain mistrust has emerged in Palestine against vaccines AstraZeneca, provided as part of the World Health Organization’s Covax initiative, some suggested these new doses may not be effective.

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