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Palestinian govt cancels coronavirus vaccine swap deal with Israel over 'quality concerns'

June 19, 2021
The Palestinian government said on Friday it has canceled an agreement under which Israel was to give it at least one million doses of coronavirus vaccines. — Courtesy photo
The Palestinian government said on Friday it has canceled an agreement under which Israel was to give it at least one million doses of coronavirus vaccines. — Courtesy photo

RAMALLAH — The Palestinian government said on Friday it has canceled an agreement under which Israel was to give it at least one million doses of coronavirus vaccines.

The government said the Pfizer jabs were too close to their expiry date and the first batch of the vaccines was returned to Israel.

‘‘After the technical teams of the health ministry o examined the first batch of the Pfizer vaccines that were received this evening from Israel, estimated at 90,000 doses, it was found that they do not conform to the specifications contained in the agreement,” the government spokesman said during a joint press conference with Minister of Health Mai Alkaila, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

"The health minister canceled the agreement on the instruction of Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh," the spokesman added.

Meantime, Health Minister Alkaila said that since the first day of the understandings with Israel concerning the transfer of Pfizer doses from Israel to Palestine, it was made clear to the Israeli side that these vaccines shall conform to all specifications and conditions of validity and safety.

‘‘After medical and technical teams received and inspected the first batch, and it was found that the doses did not conform to the technical specifications as previously agreed upon, and that their expiry date was close,’’ said the Health Minister. ‘‘Hence, we reached out to Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, and a decision was made to cancel the deal.’’

She said that the government will continue to exert pressure on Pfizer in order to obtain the vaccines purchased as soon as possible. — Agencies


June 19, 2021
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