But even assuming a best-case scenario, some 800,000 vaccines, worth tens of millions of shekels, will potentially go to waste. Israel is thus in the midst of negotiations with several countries to take the vaccines, either for cash or in exchange for a restock out of future vaccine shipments to those countries, according to the report.
The Palestinian Authority on June 18 canceled a deal involving the soon-to-expire vaccines, claiming that an initial shipment showed expirations dates earlier than had been agreed upon.
Under the terms of the deal, Israel was to have supplied the PA with up to 1.4 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, in exchange for a resupply of the same number of doses from the PA later in the year, Reuters reported.
The deal was advantageous for the PA as it would have expedited the vaccination process in the areas under its control.
However, PA Health Minister Mai al-Kaila told reporters that the initial shipment had an expiration date in June, not in “July or August, which would allow lots of time for use,” according to the report.
Israel’s Health Ministry subsequently issued a statement denying the PA’s claims, and stating that the vaccines’ expiration dates “were known and agreed to by both parties.” The vaccines were “perfectly in order,” it said, and were identical in all respects to the vaccines currently being administered to Israelis.