Pfizer halts delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to ‘banana republic’ Israel after country fails to pay

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Apr 06, 2021, 01.31 PM(IST)

FILE PHOTO: A woman receives a vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a temporary Clalit healthcare maintenance organisation (HMO) centre, at a basketball court in Petah Tikva, Israel January 28, 2021 Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

According to Reuters, the Israeli government sought to buy around 36 million more Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses, which would cost the country around 3.5 billion shekels (around $1.05 million).

American multinational pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer has halted a shipment of 700,000 COVID vaccines scheduled to arrive in Israel on Sunday following the country's failure to pay for the last 2.5 million doses shipped there.

Calling Israel a ‘banana republic,’ Pfizer has frozen further deliveries of the Covid-19 vaccine until it gets paid for the last doses.

Pfizer Officials said that they couldn’t understand how something like this could happen in an organized country.

According to Reuters, the Israeli government sought to buy around 36 million more Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses, which would cost the country around 3.5 billion shekels (around $1.05 million).

But these plans - as well as a motion to approve funds to pay for the 700,000 COVID vaccines - were halted when Netanyahu and defence minister Benny Gantz got into a political tiff over judicial appointments.

The vaccine, approved by the Western nations last year, uses mRNA technology.

It is approved for people aged 16 and above in the US and the European Union. 

A real-world study of 1.2 million people in Israel found that the vaccine is 94 per cent effective. 

Israel has recorded over 834,000 COVID cases and 6,243 deaths to date.

(With inputs from agencies)

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