Earlier in the month of April, Pfizer had announced that it was halting shipments of its vaccine to the State of Israel. The reason behind this was that the pharmaceutical company had been outraged over the fact that the country had not paid for the last 2.5 million doses that it had supplied.
Now, Israel has entered into an agreement with Pfizer to buy additional doses of the coronavirus vaccines for the coming year. This was announced by Yuli Edelstein, the Health Minister, and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister.
In addition, the leaders revealed that the country has agreed with a US-based company to purchase additional doses of its vaccine if need be. These steps, the announcement added, will be key in ensuring that the State of Israel is able to effectively manage the pandemic at least by the end of the year 2022.
While recording a video message, the Prime Minister of the country went on to add that he had had conversations with his friends, who are the CEOs of Moderna and Pfizer. He said that he signed an agreement to acquire millions of additional doses of their vaccines, given that no unpleasant surprises arise. By unpleasant surprises, Netanyahu was referring to the ineffectiveness of these vaccines against other coronavirus variants.
He added that he hopes that the county’s contract with Moderna is extended in the near future.
In addition, sources revealed that the relevant authorities of the government have entered into a contractual agreement with Moderna. However, no official statement has been made regarding this. It is believed that the country is set to purchase 7.2 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine from Moderna. The agreed price was around half a billion shekels.
Netanyahu expressed his happiness at the additional acquisition of the vaccines. He asserted that soon there will be enough vaccines in Israel to vaccinate all the children and adults in the country. In his words, Israel will once again be the leader when it comes to battling the deadly disease.
The Prime Minister did not mention the exact number of vaccines that have been acquired. A Blue and White official did say that the agreement made had been for the purchase of nine million doses.
Earlier in the month, Pfizer had taken to stop any shipment of the doses to Israel when it failed to sign contracts for more doses.
The top officials from the Health Ministry, as well as the Prime Minister, had originally stated that they were going to buy 36 million doses of the vaccine for NIS 3.5 billion. But, due to political arguments, the funding had not been secured successfully.
A cabinet meeting had, therefore, been scheduled, soon after the Passover had been canceled. However, Benny Gantz, the Alternate Prime Minister of Israel, had refused to be in attendance unless Netanyahu appointed a permanent Justice Minister.
Furthermore, senior officials of the Blue and White added that they wanted to enter into a proper dialogue and have a clear justification for the acquisition of numerous more vaccines at a high price.
Up until now, the State of Israel has administered the vaccines to 55% of the total population in the country.