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Palestinians scrap Israel vaccine deal as jabs ‘about to expire’

Israel had agreed to supply one million Pfizer vaccine doses

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 19, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Posted: Jun 19, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago

A Palestinian woman gets vaccinated against COVID-19 at Clalit Health Services in the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Hanina. Photo: AFP

The Palestinian Authority said Friday it cancelled a deal that would have seen Israel provide it with one million Covid-19 vaccine doses as the jabs are “about to expire”.

An initial delivery of Pfizer doses failed to conform “to the specifications contained in the agreement, and accordingly prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh instructed the minister of health to cancel the agreement,” government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem said.

“The government refuses to receive vaccines that are about to expire,” he added, in a statement carried by the official WAFA news agency.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office had said earlier that “Israel has signed an agreement with the Palestinian Authority, and will supply approximately one million doses of Pfizer vaccine that are about to expire”, without specifying the use-by date. 

“Israel will receive the same amount of doses of Pfizer in September/October 2021, on behalf of what is destined for the Palestinian Authority,” the Israeli statement read.

Melhem said the PA would instead wait for the vaccines it had ordered from Pfizer to arrive directly.

He did not specify the expiry date of the vaccines Israel had supplied.

Neither the Israeli health ministry nor COGAT, the Israeli military body that administers civilian affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories, responded to AFP requests for comment

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