Israel Insists Vaccines Delivered to Palestinians Are Usable
Israel’s Health Ministry on Saturday evening refuted claims made earlier by Palestinian officials that Jerusalem had delivered thousands of expired batches of coronavirus vaccine doses to Ramallah, insisting there remained enough time to get the shots into people’s arms. Last week, an agreement was reached between the new government in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority, whereby up to 1.4 million Pfizer vaccines would be transferred immediately from Israel to the Palestinians, in exchange for the same number of shots returned to Israel when the PA receives its shipment from Pfizer in October. Yet on Friday, after the first delivery of 100,000 doses arrived in the West Bank, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called the whole deal off, citing a June expiration date that he said was previously unknown to Ramallah, though Israel says it had informed the PA of the upcoming expiration. Approximately 55% of Israelis have received both doses of the Pfizer shot, while 30% of eligible Palestinians have so far gotten at least one of the two required jabs.
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