More than a million doses of Pfizer vaccines, held in Israel and expiring at the end of July, could be wasted because of failed attempts to negotiate an exchange deal with the UK, according to ‘The Guardian’.
According to the paper, Israel would initially offer these vaccines to the UK in exchange for a similar number of injections that the country was expected to receive from Pfizer in September. However, Israeli authorities said the deal was hampered by “technical problems”.
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Israel’s Channel 12 reported that Pfizer had rejected a request from the country to extend the expiration date of the vaccines. The company said it could not guarantee that the doses would be safe after July 30, which calls into question their viability.
In addition, a plan to transfer about a million doses from Pfizer to the West Bank was also canceled last month after Palestinian leaders said they could not accept vaccines near their expiration date.
This means that these doses can be thrown away by the Israeli government, which with the expiration date in sight, should have no other option. Still, the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised countries not to throw away any missed Covid-19 doses while further research is carried out to see if they might be viable longer.
Adam Finn, professor of pediatrics at the University of Bristol and member of the UK Joint Vaccination and Immunization Committee, said he hoped a solution would be found soon.
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